In a 24-hour span executive of the year, Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics gained 5 new players in 4 separate trades that could finally push the team past the ALDS and the Detroit Tigers in the postseason. The deal included 4 pitchers and a threat from the outfield, and cost them an infielder, outfielder, and 2 great prospects
The A’s, as everyone knows, have been pitching oriented since the beginning of the Beane era, and so far this season, the team is stacked. Scott Kazmir was the first pitcher to come over on Monday and his deal is a little bit of a mystery. He has been on shaky ground since his terrible stretch for the Los Angeles Angels, but has since redeemed himself after a great comeback season for the Cleveland Indians. He was signed to a 2 year 22 million dollar deal and if Beane sees something in him, his career may be about to jump-start after he starts in the Coliseum.
Later that night, the madness continued when former 1st round selection Jemile Weeks was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles for all-star closer Jim Johnson all but ensuring that the A’s will move on from Grant Balfour and also free up the infield for Nick Punto or top prospect Addison Russell.
Possibly the biggest trade was Tuesday morning with the Texas Rangers as the A’s got the speedy outfield threat Craig Gentry, and Josh Linblom who didn’t have the greatest season but the A’s pitching staff has had a knack for finding what pitchers need to succeed in Oakland. Gentry will likely not start over the current outfield line up but will be a very beneficial back up who can add throwing power to center field and a stolen base threat. Gentry hit .338 after the all-star break and got consistently better through the season.
Just hours later Oakland sent Seth Smith to the San Diego Padres for another proven reliever, Luke Gregerson. Gregerson has been one of the most reliable pitchers in the last couple years and will add to Ryan Cook and company helping to close games out.
The A’s lost some young talent in this trades, but every deals seems to make sense for the time being, and also gives the team the best chance to win this year. December has only begun, and Oakland still has valuable pitcher to shop with and you never know who is safe with Beane doing whatever he can to win the last game of the year.