It may be a brand new year, but it’s proving to be the same old Athletics.
A team known in recent history for their offseason trades and signings that leave them with a completely different looking ball club from one year to the next, the A’s have once again used the offseason to this point to make a lot of moves (some good, some bad) to change up the overall structure of their team.
The most recent case coming on Saturday with the trading away of John Jaso and a couple of top prospects, in Daniel Robertson and Boog Powell, to the Rays in exchange for Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar, who will both help what has the potential to be a good A’s team in 2015.
Despite losing John Jaso, who was a solid player for the Athletics in 2014, as well as Robertson and Powell, the A’s got back a fairly good package in return.
After an extended period of trade rumors surrounding Ben Zobrist, a transaction for him finally occurred, sending Zobrist off to the A’s. Two years removed from back-to-back 20 homer seasons, Zobrist hit a mere 10 bombs in 2014, but is still more than capable of impacting any team he’s on, as he has over the course of his All-Star career with the Rays.
Other moves the A’s have made so far to go along with the Zobrist and Escobar trade that could turn out to have major impacts began with the pickup of Billy Butler on a three-year, thirty million dollar contract. The Athletics then proceeded to swap their All-Star third baseman, Josh Donaldson, for fellow hot corner defender, Brett Lawrie, from the Blue Jays.
While the Butler deal was applauded by many, the Donaldson move was one that left many people scratching their heads. However, they weren’t done there.
Following the initial offseason additions of Butler and Lawrie, the Athletics kicked off the 2014 Winter Meetings, trading slugger Brandon Moss to the Indians, and almost immediately after departed ways with Jeff Samardzija for a few potential valuable but unproven players from the White Sox.
Even though there are some things the Athletics have done that I don’t agree with, for the most part I like where the A’s are headed.
Losing Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox via a trade for Jon Lester, and knowing they wouldn’t likely retain Lester upon the end of the season, the moves the A’s are making should help them in their attempt to make up for those losses.
Even after losing Lester, the Athletics’ rotation will still be decent, with Sonny Gray leading the way, along with Jarrod Parker who is set to return to health, and their lineup always seems to find a way to produce runs. Having finished with a win-loss record above .500 for each of the past three seasons, things are seemingly lining up to make it four.
I agree that the A’s rotation is solid, but I just wonder where the offense is going to come from. Oakland fans better get ready for a lot of nail-biting 2-1 and 3-2 games!
The A’s definitely lost a ton of pop when they traded away Yoenis Cespedes last July. That was proven by the drop in the standings they experienced in the months following his departure. But I like the pickup of Billy Butler, and the addition of Josh Phegley, along with Stephen Vogt, should allow for their loss of catcher Derek Norris to be alright. Furthermore, they have veteran Coco Crisp, as well as Josh Reddick, and now Brett Lawrie at third (given, he’s no Josh Donaldson) to drive in runs. All in all, I think things can be moved around to allow the offensive production to be there on most nights.
Reblogged this on stlcardinalsminimo and commented:
I still don’t get it. Trade Jaso and your #1 prospect on a one year rental for Zobrist and Escobar? I think this is still about Billy failing to win it all last year. Billy has traded 5 All Stars and this is what he ends up with? It may make the Athletics competitive for next year. Totally forgetting that the Athletics would have been more competitive for next season, if Billy would have made no moves. Strange.
I agree that the A’s aren’t getting in return what they’re giving away, but that tends to happen when you are so anxious to move players. You take the “best” offer on the table, even if it isn’t an extremely good one. It will be interesting to see if they pay off or not this coming season.