There are special moments for thoughtful reflection about new developments with the Oakland A’s … and then there are moments like these where I only have time for a quick post.
If you’re an A’s fan you already know that pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Oakland’s 2011 All-Star, has finally been traded. After weeks of speculation on where he would end up Gonzalez was sent to the Washington Nationals for a handful of prospects.
My quick take on the deal is that, overall, I’m just fine with it. Once general manager Billy Beane found the Dan Haren-like haul he was looking for he pulled the trigger and I think he got really good value for Gio. I trust prospect hounds like John Sickels and Kevin Goldstein who give high marks to the players Oakland got in exchange for Gonzalez.
Pitchers A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris all have the potential to be solid contributors to Oakland’s future with Cole and Peacock standing out as potential aces. All in all, not a bad return for Oakland’s best pitcher. If you can’t get Bryce Harper (and there’s no way that was ever going to happen) you might as well raid the Nationals’ stock of top prospects which is exactly what Beane did.
My only beef with the trades of Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill is that A’s didn’t come away with the one thing they really need which is a young slugger to anchor the middle of the lineup for several affordable years.
To say the least, Beane isn’t done dealing so a young slugger or two could be on the way as he continues to ship established players out of town in an effort to rebuild the franchise. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some of the players acquired in the Gonzalez and Cahill deals packaged with someone like closer Andrew Bailey to bring in a stud hitting prospect.
Another guy who may be making his way to the trading block in the wake of today’s move is catcher Kurt Suzuki. Derek Norris gets high marks for his work behind the plate, power and on-base skills which could make someone like Suzuki expendable to a rebuilding team like the A’s if the right deal comes along. If Beane gets an offer he can’t refuse I can easily see Suzuki suiting up for someone else at some point in the near future.
You can’t stop this rebuild so you might as well settle in for a long, bumpy ride to what could be a bright future in San Jose if the A’s ever get their wish to pack up and leave Oakland in the rear view mirror.