“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I LOVE TRADE RUMORS! And they are flowing’ like wine in Napa Valley right now for the Oakland Athletics. Things had been relatively quite this offseason until Billy Beane and crew arrived at the Winter Meetings this week. Soon after they arrived Beane said he felt like the “hottest prom date.” And why shouldn’t they?
Beane said earlier in the offseason that they would listen to offers for anyone on their roster with the lone exception of Jemile Weeks. The two hottest names on the market for the A’s are all star pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey.
Bailey could fit just about anywhere and has been linked to many contenders. He’s a dominant closer under team control for three more years, though, so he won’t come cheap. If you believe people like Buster Olney of ESPN and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (and I do) then it seems like the Red Sox are the front-runners in the Bailey race. This makes a lot of sense for both clubs; the Sox just lost their closer to the Phillies and the have a pretty deep farm system including some major league ready outfielders that the A’s currently covet.
As much as Bailey’s name has been popping up, lefty starter Gio Gonzalez has been showing up in even more rumors. Slusser says there are at least a dozen teams in on Gio. No deal is close because the reported asking price is said to be comparable to the haul the A’s got in the Dan Haren deal. The A’s netted six minor leaguers in that trade with the Diamondbacks including several of their top prospects at the time, so naturally teams are hesitant to meet Beane’s demands this early in the offseason. But it just takes one team to take a shot and with a dozen teams bidding, things could move rather quickly.
Ah the life of an A’s fan. Billy Beane giveth and Billy Bean taketh away. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for the casual fan, to see such young talented players get traded. Mind you, no trades have been made at this point, but they seem likely and a Bailey trade seems inevitable. But it’s all about value.
One thing is certain: Billy Beane isn’t trying to trade anyone, just listening to everyone. He’s going to have to get quite a package to trade these guys but I think someone will fork over the necessary commodities. These sorts of trades can make a rebuilding process quick and easy, and remember the A’s still have plenty of pitching depth making it easier to part with guys like Gio and Baily. It would still be difficult, both being fan favorites, but we’re talking big time prospects in return. We’ll revisit this if and when it happens.
The other main item on the A’s agenda is finding outfielders. It’s expected that their entire starting outfielder will be gone in 2012 (David Dejesus has already signed with the Cubs) so Oakland has to find some players to put out their. As it stands now, Ryan Sweeney would have the only guaranteed spot, with Michael Taylor likely manning another. Top prospects Michael Choice and Grant Green could also be an option but the A’s don’t want to have to count on them developing that quickly. They will likely wait until these potential trade negations are concluded before looking to free agency because no one knows yet who will come back in any potential trades.
The rumors are flying faster than I can keep up with so I’ll update any big news soon.
About the Author
Written by Josh Muller
My name is Josh Muller. I was born and raised in Oakland, California and currently live in San Francisco. I watch sports religiously and organize my calender year to coincide with baseball season. I'm a diehard A's and Warriors fan, love talking sports all day and believe that the words "Opening Day" are the two greatest in the English language.