I apologize for being a bit MIA lately but I’m actually getting married in just over a week, so as you can imagine I’ve been a bit busy.
Nonetheless, baseball goes on and so must we.
The Oakland Athletics chose to stand pat at the July 31st waiver deadline, much to the dismay of the majority of their fan base, local media, and possibly many of the players. I can understand the frustration; the A’s are unexpectedly in the playoff hunt and have clear needs that could have been addressed. Their lone acquisition was a backup catcher named George Kottaras. Who? My thoughts exactly.
I, myself, have mixed feelings on the issue. In my deadline preview, I made it very clear that I thought the A’s SHOULDN’T mortgage the future for a chance at immediate success because that chance at success probably wouldn’t have been all that greater had they traded for somebody. But the romantic in me wanted Billy Beane to go for it. The A’s haven’t been in this position lately and for all we know they may not be in it any time soon. So step in the box and take your hacks, right?
It’s a little more complicated than that.
There really was only one guy the A’s were connected to that I thought made perfect sense and that was Hanley Ramirez formerly of the Marlins. He’s a high profile name that has underperformed this year and could have done well with a change of scenery. But, as always, it came down to money. Apparently the A’s were willing to part with the better prospects but for only half (or so I heard) his remaining contract. But the new owners of the Dodgers with seemingly limitless resources were fully willing to take on all of Hanley’s salary and thus swooped him right up from under the A’s.
As I understand it, the A’s got pretty close here. And as I also understand it, they were not close anywhere else.
The made their play for Stephen Drew of the Diamondbacks, but he’s hitting just over .200 so is he really an upgrade? Likewise for Yunel Escobar of the Blue Jays who’s only hitting marginally better, but that’s in Toronto; those numbers would go down in Oakland, not to mention his rumored makeup issues.
I could have also got on the Chase Headley train as I mentioned before, but the Padres were asking for two top prospects for him. Would you trade Dan Strailey (who just got the call today; more on that in a bit) and Michael Choice for Headley? I wouldn’t. Maybe.
Not to mention that Brandon Inge has hit like five homers in the last week so it doesn’t seem right to sit him down.
Look, I get that it’s frustrating the A’s didn’t make a move, but truth be told, there weren’t a whole lot of moves out there to be made. And even though the deadline has passed, the A’s can still get a player through waivers, though I wouldn’t count on it. It’s a difficult process to explain and an even more difficult process to carry out so we’ll cross that proverbial bridge when we come to it.
The A’s have made their bed and they now have to lay in it. I can’t blame them too much, because this has been a pretty magical ride recently. Though I will point out that they are 0-2 since the deadline passed, which also coincides with the first two days of August. August 1st was an unwelcome sight after their record setting July; let’s see if the A’s can continue their winning ways. Don’t lose faith.
Strailey gets the call: Dan Strailey, who came out of nowhere this year and has become the A’s top prospect, got the call to the big leagues today and will pitch on Friday against the Blue Jays. Strailey, a 24th round pick in 2009, has been dominating AA and then AAA all year and leads baseball in strikeouts. He’s probably not a top of the order guy, but has five average or better pitches and his changeup has a chance to be a true weapon. This is the guy other teams wanted in trade talks with the A’s and Beane was unwilling to part with him so it should be fun watching him pitch. Infielder Adam Rosales, of whom I’ve always been a big fan, was also recalled from AAA.
Injury Updates: Brett Anderson has made two rehab starts and is feeling quite well. The results haven’t been wonderful, but the guy hasn’t pitched for a year we can cut him some slack. He’ll likely get a couple more starts in the minors and will hopefully be ready to join the A’s in mid-August, though he joked that with the team pitching so well, he isn’t sure there will be a spot for him or Brandon McCarthy when the come back form injury. He may be right.
I’m not sure how much Anderson will actually help upon his return but seeing him take a big-league mound will help the A’s know what they have going into next year and will do wonders for his confidence.
And speaking of McCarthy, he also threw a rehab start. He’s likely to throw one more before joining the team, though it’s also likely he could be on a pitch limit with his recent injury struggles. I would bet the A’s would move to a six man rotation with so many youngsters and a few guys coming back form major injuries.
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.