Oakland A’s against the world with strange strategy

Oakland+A%E2%80%99s+against+the+world+with+strange+strategy

Photo Courtesy of Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Victoria Groenewold,
Contributor

The trade deadline for baseball is Aug. 1, and the Oakland Athletics are known for trading out their best players. The strategy of releasing their top players, although referred to as a “rebuilding effort” that was created by Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane, is flawed and needs to come to an end.

More key players could be at risk once again as Oakland prepares to possibly retool the roster again. Josh Reddick, a right fielder who’s a free agent at the end of this season, was offered a 3-year $36 million extension with the Athletics. Even though that’s a big contract for the A’s, Reddick will probably have teams bidding on his services and offer much more than what the A’s have.

The A’s more than likely won’t match.

Another player that the A’s could possibly lose in the trade would be pitcher Rich Hill. Hill, coming up on the end of his one-year $6 million contract is another potential candidate to be traded. When Hill signed with the A’s, he signed for less money than he was offered due to the fact that he could be a starter in the A’s pitching rotation.

Throughout the season, Hill has done well with 90 strikeouts in 76 innings and has an ERA of 2.25, so his trade value is high right now. This is typical A’s strategy, selling off a commodity when it’s hot.

People often referred to the 2013 Athletics team as the best team in baseball that year, at 96 wins and 66 loses. Nevertheless, during the next season, the A’s would trade left fielder Yoenis Cespedes on July 31, 2014 to the Boston Red Sox and disrupted the batting lineup, the chemistry of the team and the batting order. A lot of people were asking why? Why would an organization get rid of players that are playing at such a high level? It was a trade that was questioned by many inside the baseball fraternity.

The A’s got pitcher Jon Lester and left fielder Jonny Gomes and we’re hoping that Lester could put them over the top as a serious playoff experienced pitcher who had always performed in the clutch. However, it didn’t work out that way, as Lester performed fine during the regular season, but could not find the groove he needed when it mattered most against the Royals, as they lost a tight one game playoff after having a 7-3 lead after seven innings.

After Cespedes was traded in 2014, A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on Nov. 28, 2014. Donaldson who had 29 home runs, 31 doubles and 98 runs batted in for the 2014 season was traded in the off season for Toronto’s third baseman Brett Lawrie, pitchers Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin and minor league shortstop, Franklin Barreto.

After that, it was a domino effect of players traded in the offseason.

First baseman, Brandon Moss, to the Cleveland Indians for minor league second baseman Joey Wendle on Dec. 8, 2014. Catcher Derek Norris to the San Diego Padres just 10 days later for righties R.J. Alvarez and Jesse Hahn. Infielder Yunel Escobar went to the Washington Nationals on Jan. 14, 2015 for reliever Tyler Clippard. Not only were these trades questioned by the fans, but by the A’s clubhouse as well.

The bottom line is the A’s trade their best players to save money and stay young. That’s their history over the last 10 years — they assemble good talent and let them play and develop and then they trade them before they have to pay them their market value.

The A’s are content with mediocrity until they find another venue to play in and then hopefully they will pay to play.