Blue Jays Eyeing Cust?

http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/575878

Richard Griffin from the Toronto Star seems to think that a trade regarding Jack Cust could be in the works between the A’s and Blue Jays. He states that he believes the tight relationship that Beane and Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi hold could be a leading factor for the two teams working together to reach a deal. He doesn’t believe a deal will take place before the Jays know who is healthy on their roster, and that could lead right up to Spring Training. The Jays are in rebuild mode, much like the A’s these past couple years.

He states that the Jays have an excess amount of left-handed relievers that could be had in a deal, not to mention their six infielders. It appears that much like Beane covets Nick Johnson, Ricciardi has been keeping a watchful eye on Cust for some time. “Six years ago, Ricciardi openly coveted Cust when he was a Rockies farmhan,” Griffin stated in the article.

Now for my two cents. I don’t believe that Beane would be willing to go through with this trade because I don’t see anything that the Jays have that would be appealing to Oakland. It would take something big for Beane to part ways with Cust because he has established himself as a fan favorite in Oakland, not to mention he can swing the bat. With the addition of Giambi, it makes this trade a little more likely, but parting with Cust would blow my mind. I don’t think there’s any truth to this, but what do you guys think?

Roster Taking Shape

Well it looks like the A’s roster is finally taking some shape. It’s been a long couple months since the signing of Matt Holliday, and the quantity of moves has been on the average side. However, the quality of these moves has been great. The signing of Jason Giambi to return to play in the green and gold was a big move. Many people complained about him being a traitor a few years ago, and believe me, I was right there with you. I remember the day he left for more money and the Yankees, but that day is long ago and it has long escaped my mind. If you truly are an A’s fan, you will root for your present team no matter if we have Deion Sanders playing centerfield opening day. Giambi had a great run of success here donning the number 16, and I believe that he has a few more years left in him. He may not be MVP-candidate Giambi like he once was, but the numbers that he can still produce is still a major upgrade. All in all, Giambi was a great addition for the A’s whether you like it or not.

Bobby Crosby is an interesting topic right now because nobody really knows what kind of rebound he is really going to make after being the A’s highest trade bait this offseason. Is he going to produce more so he can up his free agent price or is he going to slowly diminish from the light? Time will tell, but I still have faith in the ability of Crosby. It was disappointing to us all that the A’s could not reel in Rafael Furcal, but to look optimistically at 2009, Crosby is going to do just fine. If he stays healthy (a concern of both Crosby and Furcal), I believe Crosby to have an even better year than he did last year. It all goes back to the old baseball saying of “Hitting is contagious.” He is going to be surrounded by much better hitters this year, and that is going to be a major confidence boost to everyone in the lineup. This is going to be a lot more lively A’s lineup this year for the simple fact that they have added confidence into the younger players with the acquisitions of Holliday and Giambi. Not only are they bringing in major power bats, but they’re also bringing in ballplayers who have had their taste of success and leadership. Each of the two has gone to a World Series, and I’m sure they both would do anything to get back.

Now the only thing I really believe the A’s NEED would be another quality starter. I’ve been saying it for a while now that they need a rock for their rotation to stand on. With Giambi signing for below $5 million (what a bargain), the A’s still have some of the money that they were offering Furcal. I think Beane is in the works to sign a pitcher, but I’m not quite sure of what kind of quality that the A’s will get. You would think that by signing Giambi to a one-year deal and only having Hlliday one year, Beane would put all his chips on the table and sign somebody that has the chance of being solid. I like the looks of Ben Sheets, and I could see him in an Oakland jersey in my mind. The thought of signing Ben Sheets excites me for two reasons. First, he would be a great starter in the A’s rotation because he has had some successful years, and he is only 30 years old. Also, with the unknown factor of his medical past, I could see him signing cheaper than he would have if he was healthy. Overall, he would be a great addition to a young rotation headed by Duchsherer. 

Wishful Thinking? I think so…

A lot of people have been proposing different players that they think would be good acquisitions for the A’s this winter. I’ve been watching what people have been saying, and there are some good thoughts and some horrible ones as of late.

First off, Oakland is not going to sign C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, or Manny Ramirez. Please stop saying they would be a good pickup! As much as I agree they would be great to have, the A’s have a better shot at winning the Super Bowl this year than to land one of those prized free agents.

The A’s main focus needs to be on signing Rafael Furcal right now, and I believe it is. Reports have been ongoing stating that the A’s are really close to signing the free-agent shortstop, but there has been nothing done as of yet. Everbody knows that Furcal has toured Oakland and has drawn a lot of interest from the A’s, but that’s all fluff news until they actually sign him. Before the A’s move on to other possible transactions, they need to lock up Furcal, and I’m sure they are getting closer everyday. When the A’s sign Furcal, and I believe they will, they will begin looking at possible trades to upgrade the holes that they have.

Should the A’s sign Furcal before the Winter Meetings (fingers crossed), they would have the luxury of using that time to explore trading options that would include Bobby Crosby among other players. I’ve been looking at Baltimore’s roster for a while now, and it looks like they could be a possible trade partner willing to give something for Crosby considering they have nothing at shortstop. This also goes back to the rumor that Baltimore could be striking a deal with the Cubs to acquire the pieces needed for the Jake Peavy deal to take place, which could lead to a possible shortstop prospect. It’s all going to be fuzzy until a major trade (Orioles-Cubs) or signing (Furcal to Oakland) happens. Time will tell…

In Beane We Trust…

The Holliday Trade

Well I’m kind of getting into the blogging thing a little late to cover the trade for Matt Holliday, but I figured I would throw in my two cents on the whole thing. Although many people see this as a terrible trade, I see it as an opportunity. Oakland has been known around the league for many years as the team with great pitching, but terrible offense (emphasis on the terrible). By adding a bat like Matt Holliday to the offense, the team as a whole gets an instant boost. I’m now going to break the trade down player by player on my opinion as to why each of them are expendable to the franchise. Feel free to offer your feedback because I would love to hear it.

Matt Holliday- There isn’t much to say about him coming to Oakland besides THANK YOU! The Oakland offense was near the bottom in every offensive category last year. By adding a player with so much proven offensive talent, you automatically help with this. The Oakland on-base percentage, which Beane covets while evaluating players, was a dismal .318 last year, .001 off from dead last. Holliday had a .409 OBP last year, ranking 4th in the National League of players that played at least 100 games. Oakland really could use the offense, and Holliday can really supply it.

Carlos Gonzalez- Every organization in baseball hates to give up young talent, and this case is no different than any other. Carlos Gonzalez is going to be a stud someday, and he may not be that far off. By trading away Gonzalez, it obviously clears up a spot for Holliday to fall right into the scheme. I couldn’t agree with Billy Beane anymore when he says “Obviously, we thought very highly of Carlos, and we still do, but we also had some redundancy there.” If you notice the Oakland farm system nowadays, there are players at pretty much every position that are within striking distance of fighting for a job in the majors. With every draft and trade made my Beane in the past few years, he has been adding more and more young talent to an already stellar farm system. Now it seems as though Beane is going to attempt to move away from this because it is obvious that they have an overabundant supply of quality outfielders.

Huston Street- With the emergence of Brad Ziegler as a great relief option last year, it’s hard to look at Huston Street and not imagine that he isn’t replaceable. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like Street as a relief pitcher, but I do think that it is time for a new closer. Ziegler is a great pitcher to call out of the bullpen, but the player that most of us are looking forward to see is Joey Devine. Brought over in the Kotsay trade, Devine was simply amazing last year in the appearances that he made. In 42 appearances last year, he was 6-1 with a 0.59 ERA. On paper, it doesn’t get much better than that. The best part is, he is only going to be 25 when next season starts. Again, with the redundancy, Street was replaceable.

Greg Smith- In my mind, this is the player that Oakland is going to miss most next year. Although he only had a mediocre year at best last year, I believe that Smith will be a solid starter on a team with a good offense. With many questions about Oakland’s rotation this next year, the loss of Smith only adds another hole to the unknown rotation. Many would argue that this will be filled in with a pitcher that will be good enough, but I think that Smith was one of the best starters in Oakland last year. Then again, Haren seemed to be a good replacement for Mulder and Hudson’s absences.

Again, I encourage anybody to respond to this because I would love some feedback so I know that this isn’t a complete waste of time. Until next time…

In Beane We Trust

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