Tag:Oakland Athletics
Posted on: December 13, 2009 4:28 am
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Bradley is a Perfect Fit For The A's....Again

There was an interesting quote I saw on the A's website the other day coming from Athletics General Manager Billy Beane.

"He was pretty happy here -- and he did help us into the only ALCS we've had in all my years here.....But I can't comment on other teams' players."


Could it be possible? Could the A's actually bring back Milton Bradley? After the spat that Bradley and Beane had just two years ago, it seemed nearly inconceivable. And yet, here I am....wondering....and the same time..... hoping that Milton Bradley comes back to Oakland.

It makes too much sense for both parties involved.

The A's have holes up and down their lineup. The team was 12th in the American League in total offense last season and just released their leading home run hitter in Jack Cust. The only player that offers any form of consistency is catcher Kurt Suzuki, who led the team with 88 RBI's last year.

Bradley could fill in where Cust couldn't. Not only can Bradley DH, but he can also play the field as well. Meanwhile, Bradley strikes out much less than Cust and puts the ball in play which is much more effective with runners in scoring position.

As of right now, the A's lack a true middle of the order hitter.

Newly acquired Jake Fox is expected to fill that void, but with only 230 career major league at bats, expecting that much from him would be foolish. Meanwhile, no one can count on Eric Chavez to be healthy. And while the team expects prospects Brett Wallace and Chris Carter to eventually develop into franchise players. they aren't going to develop into that overnight. The A's need a veteran presence to fill the void while the younger players develop. The A's NEED Milton Bradley.

When Bradley left during the 2007 season, his feeling were hurt as the A's relegated him to a part-time role after spending multiple trips on the disabled list. When Bradley was unhappy, the team designated him for assignment. Bradley, meanwhile, had something to say about the A's organization and Billy Beane on his way out.

"I had more fun playing baseball in Oakland that I ever had. I [just] don't like to be lied to. Tell me the truth. You tell me I'm not an everyday player, and I just have to laugh at you because there's not a player they've got over there that's better than me. It's just a joke", Bradley said of Beane in 2007.

Bradley may be a hothead, but flashforward 3 years into the future, and this statement makes him look extremely smart. At the time he was designated for assignment, the A's outfield consisted of Shannon Stewart, Mark Kotsay, and Travis Buck.

Stewart signed with Toronto in 2008, but was released during the season after a poor performance and has since to play for a major league team. Meanwhile, Kotsay hit .214 that season and was traded to the Braves in the offseason and now remains a backup for the Chicago White Sox. As for Buck, after hitting .288 in his rookie season, his future looked promising, but Buck struggled to hit the ball well in early part of the 2008 season and has spent the past two years back and forth between the minors and big leagues.

Bradley WAS better than any player the A's had on their 2007 roster and it WAS a joke to say otherwise.

As baseball fans, we dismissed the release because Bradley wasn't on the field due to injury and because Bradley had a reputation he carried with him from Cleveland and LA. We overlooked the talent.

After peaceful years with San Diego and Texas, Bradley is now about to be traded out of Chicago. Once again, Bradley's ego has come back to haunt him. He needs a new start and needs to re-establish himself as a premier outfielder in the league. Why not do it in the place where he loved playing the most?

The A's and Milton Bradley have mutual interest.

Think the A's don't have the money to take on Bradley's salary? Think again. This is the team that ranked lowest in attendance last year and is getting the most amount of revenue sharing dollars of any team in the league. This is the same team that a year ago offered Rafael Furcal 10 million a year to play shortstop and offered Marco Scutaro 6 million a year this season.

The A's opening day payroll was 62 million dollars last season. So far this year, they only have 21 million dollars committed to the team. Even if they kept the  47 million dollar opening day payroll they had in 2008, they are STILL well under that. Do the right thing Billy and bring Milton back to the bay.



Posted on: December 13, 2009 4:24 am
 

Bradley is a Perfect Fit For The A's....Again

There was an interesting quote I saw on the A's website the other day coming from Athletics General Manager Billy Beane.

"He was pretty happy here -- and he did help us into the only ALCS we've had in all my years here.....But I can't comment on other teams' players."


Could it be possible? Could the A's actually bring back Milton Bradley? After the spat that Bradley and Beane had just two years ago, it seemed nearly inconceivable. And yet, here I am....wondering....and the same time..... hoping that Milton Bradley comes back to Oakland.

It makes too much sense for both parties involved.

The A's have holes up and down their lineup. The team was 12th in the American League in total offense last season and just released their leading home run hitter in Jack Cust. The only player that offers any form of consistency is catcher Kurt Suzuki, who led the team with 88 RBI's last year.

Bradley could fill in where Cust couldn't. Not only can Bradley DH, but he can also play the field as well. Meanwhile, Bradley strikes out much less than Cust and puts the ball in play which is much more effective with runners in scoring position.

As of right now, the A's lack a true middle of the order hitter.

Newly acquired Jake Fox is expected to fill that void, but with only 230 career major league at bats, expecting that much from him would be foolish. Meanwhile, no one can count on Eric Chavez to be healthy. And while the team expects prospects Brett Wallace and Chris Carter to eventually develop into franchise players. they aren't going to develop into that overnight. The A's need a veteran presence to fill the void while the younger players develop. The A's NEED Milton Bradley.

When Bradley left during the 2007 season, his feeling were hurt as the A's relegated him to a part-time role after spending multiple trips on the disabled list. When Bradley was unhappy, the team designated him for assignment. Bradley, meanwhile, had something to say about the A's organization and Billy Beane on his way out.

"I had more fun playing baseball in Oakland that I ever had. I [just] don't like to be lied to. Tell me the truth. You tell me I'm not an everyday player, and I just have to laugh at you because there's not a player they've got over there that's better than me. It's just a joke", Bradley said of Beane in 2007.

Bradley may be a hothead, but flashforward 3 years into the future, and this statement makes him look extremely smart. At the time he was designated for assignment, the A's outfield consisted of Shannon Stewart, Mark Kotsay, and Travis Buck.

Stewart signed with Toronto in 2008, but was released during the season after a poor performance and has since to play for a major league team. Meanwhile, Kotsay hit .214 that season and was traded to the Braves in the offseason and now remains a backup for the Chicago White Sox. As for Buck, after hitting .288 in his rookie season, his future looked promising, but Buck struggled to hit the ball well in early part of the 2008 season and has spent the past two years back and forth between the minors and big leagues.

Bradley WAS better than any player the A's had on their 2007 roster and it WAS a joke to say otherwise.

As baseball fans, we dismissed the release because Bradley wasn't on the field due to injury and because Bradley had a reputation he carried with him from Cleveland and LA. We overlooked the talent.

After peaceful years with San Diego and Texas, Bradley is now about to be traded out of Chicago. Once again, Bradley's ego has come back to haunt him. He needs a new start and needs to re-establish himself as a premier outfielder in the league. Why not do it in the place where he loved playing the most?

The A's and Milton Bradley have mutual interest.

Think the A's don't have the money to take on Bradley's salary? Think again. This is the team that ranked lowest in attendance last year and is getting the most amount of revenue sharing dollars of any team in the league. This is the same team that a year ago offered Rafael Furcal 10 million a year to play shortstop and offered Marco Scutaro 6 million a year this season.

The A's opening day payroll was 62 million dollars last season. So far this year, they only have 21 million dollars committed to the team. Even if they kept the  47 million dollar opening day payroll they had in 2008, they are STILL well under that. Do the right thing Billy and bring Milton back to the bay.
Posted on: August 12, 2009 3:06 am
 

Shaping the 2010 Roster for the Oakland Athletics


Players That Will Be Free Agents Following the Season:
Of the following players, I'd only attempt to bring back Adam Kennedy. Like Bobby Crosby, Kennedy can play every infield position. Unlike Bobby Crosby, Kennedy can actually hit the ball. Kennedy is having a career year for the A's, but I don't think he'll be in that high of demand on the open market. With second basemen such as Mark DeRosa , Felipe Lopez , Orlando Hudson , and Placido Polanco on the market, Kennedy is going to have a hard time getting a starting gig. If the A's could resign him to a one year deal for perhaps 1.5 Million with a club option (2.5 million) for 2011, that would be ideal. Looking at the other guys here, Bobby Crosby has an ego problem and needs to go. The A's would get a "type B" compensation pick if they offered arbitration to Justin Duchscherer, but I am inclined to believe Duchscherer would accept which would bring him back to Oakland for around 5.5-6 million on a one year deal. It's too big of a risk imo. As for Garciaparra, while he can still hit, he can no longer play the field. Let him retire.

The Following Players Will Be Arbitration Eligible Next Season:
*Devine is 1 day short of service time to be eligible. Since he didn't play this year and was hurt, I'm not sure what happens here. He was already a super 2 player. I'm wondering if he'll be a super super 2 or if the he'll enter arbitration. If he enters arbitration, he'll make about 1 million next season. If not, the A's will pay him league minimum.

Of the other players listed above, the only guy I would non-tender is Santiago Casilla. There is no point paying him a million dollars or more to not produce. If the A's still want to sign him afterwards for a lesser price, so be it, but he shouldn't be given the option to enter arbitration. Assuming the other players are kept, following the 60-80-60 scaling, Cust will make about 5 million, Wuertz about 2 million, while Davis, Devine, and Eveland will make around 1 million.

What does this mean?

The A's have a base salary next year, not including arbitration players, of 19.25 million. Adding in the five players above, that raises payroll to 29.25 million. If the A's were to have the same opening day payroll as they did this season, they'd have 33 million to spend on the open market. It's not likely they'll spend it, but it's worth noting. Also worth noting is that another 18 million (from the contracts of Chavez and Ellis) come off the books after 2010 giving the A's a ton of money to spend on their current team.

Now what does the Roster look like next year? Let's take a look at positions...


Catchers: Kurt Suzuki , Landon Powell , Josh Donaldson , Max Stassi


Suzuki has the job locked and has been one of the A's key producers. The only way he loses his job is if a freak injury happened. Landon Powell has been a solid backup all year long, both offensively and defensively. I often wish Bob Geren would play Powell and sit Suzuki more often as it would probably help the ballclub all together, but it will never happen. Donaldson is posting good numbers in AA and will be in AAA to start next season. I don't know what the long term plan is with him though as the A's catchers on their major league roster are already very young. As for Stassi, he's the future. Just drafted out of Yuba City high, Stassi has yet to be signed, but if he does, he could be the A's starting catcher in four to five years. The team has until August 17th to sign him.

First Basemen: Tommy Everidge , Daric Barton , Sean Doolittle , Chris Carter

Carter is obviously the future of the ballclub, but there is no point rushing him up to the major leagues. Carter is guaranteed to be the Texas League MVP this season and has a chance at the league Triple Crown. He will start next season in AAA. Everidge has been decent since taking over everyday for Jason Giambi, though nothing spectacular. He should get his opportunity to show what he has for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, the A's 2008 starting first basemen, Daric Barton, should also be in the mix for a job during spring training. It doesn't do any good sending Barton to AAA as the team probably doesn't want to take at bats away from Chris Carter. At the very least, Barton should be held as a reserve, the same way Nomar Garciaparra is being held now. Sean Doolittle has been hurt for most of this season, but should get an opportunity to prove himself as well next year. It's basically a logjam of mediocre players until Carter shows up.

Second Basemen: Mark Ellis , Eric Patterson , Adrian Cardenas , Jemile Weeks

Ellis' job is locked at the start of next season, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him moved halfway through the year next season. Eric Patterson was promised by Bob Geren that he was going to get every opportunity to succeed after Matt Holliday was traded, only for Patterson to be sent down after receiving minimal playing time. Adrian Cardenas tore the cover off of pitches in AA this year, but has struggled a lot since being promoted to Sacramento. Meanwhile, 2008 first round draft choice, Jemile Weeks, just keeps hitting the ball and could leapfrog Cardenas should he continue to struggle at the start of next season.


Shortstop: Cliff Pennington , Corey Wimberly , Grant Green

This is where the A's lack the most depth. Cliff Pennington is being given every opportunity to win the starting job for next year and has impressed so far in a short time frame. However, if his production falls off, I could see the A's turning to the free agent market. The A's let it be known that they might consider bringing back Orlando Cabrera . Other free agent options at the position include two former Athletics , Miguel Tejada and Marco Scutaro . The A's have Gregorio Petit at shortstop in Sacramento, but aren't keen on him playing everyday. Corey Wimberley is the shortstop in Midland, but he's made six error in 23 games at the position. Meanwhile, Grant Green, the A's first round selection this past year, has still yet to sign. Even if he did sign though, the soonest Green would reach the majors would be late 2011 or 2012.

Third Basemen: Eric Chavez , Brett Wallace, ?

I really don't want Brett Wallace to be "handed" the starting job at third base next year. Wallace is a good talent, but needs to work on his game both offensively and defensively. He's been just "okay" since arriving in Sacramento, but not great. I want a great hitter to emerge, not an average guy. If anyone can challenge Wallace for the job out of spring training it would probably be beneficial to the A's. The team cannot count on Eric Chavez being healthy, which is also why an Adam Kennedy resigning would make more sense. Let Wallace earn his way to the big leagues and supplant whoever we have instead of just handing him the spot like the team did with Daric Barton in 2008. Wallace was just drafted a year ago. There is no reason to rush him to the show either. This area needs to be addressed.

Left Fielders: Scott Hairston , Aaron Cunningham , Travis Buck

The A's aren't going to give up Sean Gallagher and Craig Italiano for a bench player. Hairston is here to be a permanent fixture for the A's and is under control through 2011. Cunningham will probably get some opportunities to play, but probably in right field rather than left. Travis Buck is in management's doghouse and I expect him to sit in AAA and rot, much the same way Brad Halsey did a few years back.




Center Fielders: Rajai Davis, Eric Patterson, Ryan Sweeney

I'm willing to give Rajai a chance as long as he keeps hitting and stealing bases. His play this year has been good so far. Eric Patterson is a player I can see the A's using in a backup role as he can play all outfield positions and second base. He'll probably never start though. Meanwhle Ryan Sweeney will probably start next season in right field again....for now.




Right Fielders: Ryan Sweeney, Aaron Cunningham, Travis Buck

Sweeney is a solid defender, but hits for far too little power to be a permanent fixture in right field. He belongs either in centerfield or on the bench which means the A's will soon have to choose between Sweeney and Rajai Davis. Cunningham has 20 home run pop, but has yet to hit for average at the major league level. If he finds his swing, Sweeney could be bumped elsewhere. Again Travis Buck is in the doghouse, so don't expect him to be called up anytime soon. There isn't any outfielder in AAA that I expect to be a significant factor next year, however, Midland has some solid producers in the outfield this year and they could make their way to Oakland by the second half of next season.

Designated Hitter: Jack Cust

There really isn't another position for him. He can't play first base and he's terrible in the outfield. Fortunately for him, no one else with terrible defense on the A's can mash so he has this job locked up. He has underperformed at all aspects of the game this season. Hopefully he'll bounce back next year though. The A's have him under control through 2011.





Starting Rotation: Dallas Braden , Brett Anderson , Trevor Cahill , Gio Gonzalez , Vin Mazzaro , James Simmons, Josh Outman , Clayton Mortensen



The A's will probably feature the same starting rotation next season as they did this year. Hopefully, their young pitchers will continue to develop and get better. Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez have really found their stuff as of late while Cahill and Mazzaro have struggled at times. Braden has been an achor at the front of the staff and as the veteran of the group, is under controll through 2013. James Simmons has had a rough year this season and will probably need to head back to the minors. Josh Outman, who performed well this season before undergoing Tommy John Surgery, may or may not be back next year. Clayton Mortensen needs more work as well, but could find himself in the mix later on.

Closer: Andrew Bailey , Joey Devine, Brad Ziegler

My assumption is that the closers role is Bailey's to lose. However, having him and Devine in the 8th and 9th inning makes for one scary combo.






2010 Top 10 Prospects

Note: My opinion only listed here
  1. 1B Chris Carter (pictured above)
  2. 3B Brett Wallace
  3. 2B Jemile Weeks
  4. OF Aaron Cunningham
  5. 2B Adrian Cardenas
  6. SS Grant Green
  7. RHP Michael Ynoa
  8. OF Grant Desme
  9. C Josh Donaldson
  10. OF Corey Brown
Best Hitter for Average: Adrian Cardenas
Best Power Hitter: Chris Carter
Best Strike Zone Discipline: Josh Donaldson
Fastest Baserunner: Corey Wimberly
Best Athlete: Rashun Dixon
Best Fastball: Henry Rodriguez
Best Curveball: Justin Marks
Best Slider: Henry Rodriguez
Best Changeup: Anthony Capra
Best Control: Mickey Storey
Best Defensive Catcher: Josh Donaldson
Best Defensive Infielder: Adrian Cardenas
Best Infield Arm: Dusty Coleman
Best Defensive Outfielder: Grant Desme
Best Outfield Arm: Shane Peterson

Posted on: August 12, 2009 1:58 am
Edited on: August 12, 2009 1:59 am
 

A's Notepad: August 11th

Notes for the day:


Rajai Davis - OF - Oakland Athletics (MLB)

Rajai Davis hit the 10,000th double in Oakland A's History.

Davis drove a 2-2 pitch by David Hernandez into left center field and got the double easily. Davis has really emerged for the A's recently. He is batting .357 since June 17th. The double tonight gave Davis a 7 game hitting streak. Davis also has 6 stolen bases in his last 9 games.


Jay Marshall - RP - Oakland Athletics (MLB)

Jay Marshall worked a perfect 8th inning on Tuesday night, his first appearance since 2007

Marshall retired Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis in order. The sidewinding lefty was a rule-5 draft selection from the Chicago White Sox in 2007. Despite struggling for the entire 2007 season on the major league roster, the A's put Marshall back in the minors for 2008 and much of 2009 to work on his stuff. It was there that Marshall emerged posting a 3.20 era in 50 games for AAA Sacramento.


Dana Eveland - SP - Sacramento Rivercats (Triple-A)

Dana Eveland was tagged for 9 runs in five innings at Triple A Sacramento

It was the second consecutive poor outing for Eveland as Eveland gave up 9 runs in 8 innings in his last start against Oklahoma (Rangers AAA team). 2009 has been a downward spiral for Eveland, who started in 29 games for the Athletics last season. Despite being 8-4 for the Rivercats, Eveland has lost all command of his pitches and will need to work on that if he hopes to return to the big leagues any time soon.

Travis Buck - OF - Sacramento Rivercats (Triple-A)

Travis Buck was 3-4 with 3 RBI for the Rivercats on Tuesday night

Buck has shown all he can at the AAA level, but has had limited opportunities to reclaim a starting spot in the Oakland lineup. He remains in management's doghouse for publicly telling the media he wasn't hurt when the A's placed him on the disabled list at the end of May. He'll be back with the A's in September, but don't expect him to receive much playing time. 


Grant Desme - OF - Stockton Ports (Advance Single-A)

Grant Desme hit his 15th home run of the season for Stockton Tuesday night

Desme was 2-5 on the night with a home run and a double. The home run was his 15th with Stockton this season and his 26th overall in just 427 at bats. The 2007 Second Round draft choice out of Cal Poly was largely considered a bust entering this season as he had been hurt his first two seasons in the league. However, he is now emerging as one of the best prospects in the Oakland system.

Posted on: July 22, 2009 7:31 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2009 2:54 am
 

Adam Kennedy Needs to Remain in Oakland

Forget trading him or letting him walk in the offseason. Adam Kennedy needs to re-sign with the Oakland Athletics

Wait a minute....strike that and reverse it...

The Oakland Athletics need to re-sign Adam Kennedy. He's become just that valuable to the team. Acquired at the beginning of May from Tampa Bay, Kennedy has given the A's offense life when it was practically dead. He is a versatile player that is willing to play anywhere to help the team win. So far this season, Kennedy has played games at first base, second base, third base, and outfield. If the A's were to resign him, he would be the newest version of what Marco Scutaro was for this team for so long. A dependable utility player.

Granted, Kennedy is 33 and having the best season of his career so many might wonder if he'll want to leave when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season and cash in on his success. However, with the economy in a downturn and a second market next season that features Orlando Hudson, Placido Polanco, Freddy Sanchez, and Mark DeRosa, Kennedy might be an afterthought to start for many teams and he might not be able to get a contract that he would want.

If the A's offered Kennedy a 2 year/2.5 million dollar contract to be the teams utility player I think he would take it in a heartbeat. You could even throw on a 2 million dollar club option at the end of it in case the A's are impressed with his performance. For what he has brought this team this year and how valuable of an asset he has become, I think it definitely should happen.

So Billy Beane, if your listening, keep Kennedy in Oakland.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 14, 2009 3:41 am
 

A's Midseason Report Card

2009 Record: 37-49, 4th Place in American League West
Offensive Grade: F
Defensive Grade: D
Starting Pitching Grade: B-
Bullpen Pitching Grade: B-
Managerial Grade: F
Front Office Grade: F
Overall Midseason Grade: D+

The A's entered 2009 as a darkhorse candidate to win the division. Now, at the halfway point, the team is a darkhorse candidate for the worst record in the American league. 2009 marks the first time in the past decade that the A's have entered the All-Star break with a record below .500. Offensively, the team has been a complete mess. Once again, Eric Chavez has found himself sidelined for the entire season, while the new free agent acquisitions have disappointed thus far. Even Matt Holliday , who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Rockies , has gotten off to a slow start and there are now questions as to whether or not the A's will be able to get what they want in return in a midseason deal. Defensively, the A's have struggled, mainly because injuries to gold glove caliber players in Chavez and Mark Ellis . However, this can also be attributed to manager Bob Geren for starting Jack Cust in right field in many games thus far. The starting pitching has shown signs of promise. Trevor Cahill , Brett Anderson , and Vin Mazzaro , already christened "the new big three", have looked brilliant at times....and other times have shown their lack of experience. Dallas Braden has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, but a lack of run support has failed to earn him recognition. So has Josh Outman , but he became the third A's player to fall victim to Tommy John Surgery this offseason. The bullpen was very good at the beginning of the year, but has started falter down the stretch, mainly from being used far too much. Michael Wuertz and Andrew Bailey have been the two bright spots though. As for manager Bob Geren, he looks lost. He refuses to let starters work deep into games, has failed to play the matchups correctly, and shows no confidence in his team. If he wasn't Billy Beane's best man at his second wedding, he might be the second manager to be fired this season. Speaking of Billy Beane , he has completely mishandled the farm system all year long and his trade for Scott Hairston is questionable. It's been a rough first half for the A's.

First Half MVP: Andrew Bailey - Closer

After trading Huston Street in the offseason and seeing Joey Devine fall victim to Tommy John Surgery, many that follow the A's were wondering who would step up and take over the role of the teams closer. Andrew Bailey answered that question. Since being selected as the last reliever to make the A's bullpen out of spring training, Bailey has forced everyone around baseball to take notice of him. He is the only rookie to be selected for the All-Star Game in St. Louis and is the A's lone representative. No one could dare say Bailey isn't deserving though. Bailey leads all American League Relievers in innings pitched and strikeouts and is 4th among American League Closers with a 1.92 era. Bailey features a mid 90's fastball, a curveball, and a cutter that does its best impression of Yankees future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera .

Apologies to: Adam Kennedy, Kurt Suzuki, Dallas Braden

First Half LVP: Jason Giambi - First Basemen

If the Jason Giambi that the A's had on their team mirrored anything close to the young guy in the picture to the right, the A's were going to get a bargain in the offseason. Unfortunately, what they ended up with was an over the hill, aging veteran, whose bat can't catch up to an inside fastball. Giambi has been terrible this season. In fact, this is his worst season of his career. Currently, Giambi is hitting below the Mendoza Line at .192 on the year. The A's were hoping Giambi would be an upgrade from Daric Barton , but instead they only stunted Barton's development for no apparent reason. In addition, his inability to play the field everyday is causing manager Bob Geren to play Jack Cust in the outfield, a position that Cust should never play. Because of his performance, the A's can't trade Giambi. Jason has a team option for next year in which I don't think is going to get picked up. Unless Giambi has a strong second half, Giambi might be playing his last season in baseball.

sighs of relief for: Jack Cust, Bobby Crosby, Orlando Cabrera

Biggest Surprise: Adam Kennedy - Infielder

At the beginning of the season, no one wanted Adam Kennedy . In fact, the St. Louis Cardinals waived Kennedy, eating the $4 million dollars he had owed on his contract. The Rays signed Kennedy to a minor league deal, but then quickly sent him to the A's for career minor leaguer Joe Dillon . Oh how those two teams GM's wish they could have do overs...Since arriving in Oakland, Kennedy has been an offensive force and is having his best season as pro baseball player. Kennedy is currently hitting .291 with 7 home runs and 31 RBI. Mind you, those numbers are since May, as the first month of the season Kennedy was in AAA. His home run total is his highest since 2004 when he hit 10 in a season. Kennedy is also proving to be a versatile player, playing whatever position he has been asked to receive playing time. He originally was called over to play second base in place of the injured Mark Ellis, but when Ellis returned Kennedy has made the transition to 3rd, 1st, and even some time in right field and has kept on hitting. Because Kennedy is a free agent at the end of the year though, he remains a good candidate to be traded. A team like the Cubs would be a perfect fit.

Apologies to: Josh Outman, Andrew Bailey, Dallas Braden

Player Most Likely to Be Traded: Matt Holliday - Left Field

While the A's have many players that could be dealt by the end of the month, none of them are more likely to leave than outfielder Matt Holliday. Holliday was a three time All-Star with the Colorado Rockies, but has regressed since joining the A's and leaving the hitter friendly confines of Coors Field. According to reports, the A's are said to be asking for two top of the line prospects in return for Holliday. The reasoning is because the A's would not only be trading away Holliday, but the two compensation picks that come with him if he becomes a free agent at the end of the year. The teams that make the most sense to acquire Holliday seem to be the Mets , Cardinals, and possibly the Red Sox . If teams won't give A's GM Billy Beane what he wants, Beane will simply hold on to Holliday and obtain the draft picks at the end of the season. However, some skeptics suggest that if Holliday doesn't get the price he wants in the offseason, he may accept arbitration from the A's which would net him a 1 year deal around 18 million. Personally, I don't think he would do it though as the last place Holliday would want to be to rebuild his value is Oakland. If it does happen though, the A's may have the same situation at this time next season.

Don't Get Too Comfortable: Adam Kennedy, Russ Springer, Bobby Crosby

First Prospect Likely To Be Called Up in 2nd Half: Tommy Everidge - Corner Infield

Tommy Everidge is flying under the radar. So much in fact, that I hadn't even heard of him until this year. He isn't even on Baseball America's list for the A's top 10 prospects. However, I can't wait for this kid to recieve his callup. Everidge features good power and pretty solid bat. Two seasons ago in Single-A, Everidge had 26 home runs and 94 RBI's while batting .266. Last year he had 22 home runs, 115 RBI, and improved his batting average to .279 at AA Midland. This season, combined between Double-A and Triple-A, Everidge is off to a torrid start hitting .309/.375/.508 with 14 home runs and an astonishing 73 RBI at the halfway point. A natural first basemen, the A's have been gradually converting Everidge to play 3rd, a position the organizational depth is weak at. His promotion to AAA, as well as the position switch, I believe forced the A's to trade away Jack Hannahan , who was demoted to AAA after a weak start to the season. The team probably felt they didn't want a player like Hannahan taking away at bats from Everidge. I expect to see Everidge to receive his first callup in August, though the team would likely have to trade Adam Kennedy to make room on the roster. If this kid has the ability to play 3rd base, the A's might have found their replacement for Eric Chavez.


Posted on: June 24, 2009 5:33 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 5:34 pm
 

Kurt Klutch

Suzuki Could Be A's All-Star Representative

He was nickamed "Kurt Klutch" by his college teammmates at Cal State Fullerton. Most A's fans have christened him with the nickname "Hawaiian Punch" for his strong play in the big leagues. However, I simply call him "the best defensive catcher in the American League".

Of course. I'm talking about A's catcher Kurt Suzuki.

Drafted in 2004 out of Cal State Fullerton, Suzuki had quite the college career. In 2004, Suzuki was named an All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. He also won the Johnny Bench Award, which named him the country's top collegiate catcher and was honored with the first ever Brooks Wallace Award, which is given to the college baseball player of the year. Suzuki's Cal State Fullerton Titans also won the College World Series thanks to an RBI single by him in the 7th inning of the championship game. He was drafted by the A's in the second round of the 2004 draft and moved up through the system rather quickly making his big league debut in mid-2007.

Now, in his third big league season it seems as if most have forgotten about how good of a player Kurt Suzuki actually is.

While Suzuki surely doesn't compare much to Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer, he has quietly made his impression on the league. For the past two seasons, Suzuki has been second in the league each season at throwing out baserunners and for all those stat geeks like myself out there that love sabremetrics, Suzuki's catcher's era (otherwise known as CERA) has been second best among AL Catchers as well. Considering the pitching staffs that Suzuki has had to work with the past two seasons, this is remarkable.

Of course, in the age of fantasy baseball, no one cares about defensive stats, even for a position as important as catcher Looking at the current update for all-star voting this is made clear. Suzuki isn't even in the top five in votes.


Those 5 spots belong to Mauer, Jason Varitek, Jorge Posada, Jarrod Saltalamachhia, and Victor Martinez.

However, Suzuki isn't all that bad offensively either. Among all American League starting catchers (including those who don't have the qualified number of at bats), Suzuki is 1st in doubles (18), 5th in batting average (.274) and 8th in RBI (25).

And Even though baseball fans haven't voted for Suzuki to make the All-Star game, the decision of him getting in will rest with Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon. And while many in Oakland, including the A's team website, have been boasting offensive stars Matt Holliday and Adam Kennedy among the A's to be selected, there is a general feeling in the A's clubhouse is that Suzuki will get in instead.

With only Mauer and Martinez being above the rest of the AL catchers, the American League will carry three catchers in the midsummer classic and Suzuki likely could be the third catcher selected. If Suzuki is selected, it will be the first time an A's position player was chosen for the All-Star game since another former A's catcher, Ramon Hernandez, made it in 2003. The chance of the A's having more than one representative is unlikely given their record and position in the standings.

Posted on: June 23, 2009 3:03 am
Edited on: June 23, 2009 3:38 am
 

(Travis) Buck Stops Here


A's Young Outfielder Proving to Management He Belongs



Travis Buck is angry. He's let it be known that he's not happy with A's management, nor manager Bob Geren.

And I don't blame him.

After returning from the 15 day disabled list on June 14th, the A's optioned Buck to AAA-Sacramento.

At the time, it was thought that Buck was sent down to get work in while the A's played 9 straight interleague games in NL parks. After all, the A's had to get their everday DH and home run leader, Jack Cust, into the lineup. But now that the A's are back in American League ballparks for the rest of the way, that never seemed to be the case as Buck is still stuck in AAA.

Buck was upset about being placed on the disabled list on May 30th, a day after refusing to play in the second game of a double header against the Texas Rangers on May 29th due to a strained oblique muscle. Even though Buck supplied almost all of the A's offense in the first game, it must of made both Bob Geren and Billy Beane mad that Buck said he was pain free the next day. 
Even though the A's front office would never admit to it, it's really the only explanation that makes sense. After all, Buck has hit .323 in his last 31 at bats with the team. Most of which have come sparingly due to Bob Geren platooning Buck for the entire season.

But then that got this A's fan thinking....

Could Billy Beane's ego be that big that he would sacrifice putting a better product on the field to make a statement to a player? Or was it Bob Geren, the man that has refused to give Buck regular at bats since the beginning of the season, that wanted Buck off the roster?

The A's as a team were hitting just .242 at the time Buck was placed on the disabled list and it seems odd the team wouldn't want one of their hottest hitters in the lineup. The team batting average has since dropped to .235 through Sunday, which is worst in the majors. 

However, Buck isn't letting the demotion affect him.

So far in 46 plate appearances for the Rivercats, Buck is hitting .405 with a .478 on base percentage. Not only that, but Buck is slugging .649, with 6 doubles and 1 home run in just 11 games. He clearly is sending management a message of his own.

A message like "You made a big mistake".

A rookie in 2007, Buck played very well for the A's as he went on to hit .288 with 7 home runs in just 285 at bats. Inspired by his performance and work ethic, the A's decided to trade their oft injured star in Milton Bradley in order to secure everday playing time for him.

However, after starting out 0 for his first 20 at bats in 2008, the A's sent Travis to AAA to fix his swing rather than letting him work out his problems with the big league club.

After a few weeks, Buck had fixed his swing, but the A's found that they didn't have a roster spot for him as they had brought back Frank Thomas to fill a void in the lineup.

Buck continued to hit in the minors and finished the year batting .326 for Sacramento. In the final two weeks of September, Buck was called back up to the A's and hit .367 with four home runs and 12 RBI in that time frame. 

At the outset of spring training in 2009, Buck came into camp told that he would be battling for the starting right field job. At the conclusion, Buck put all the critics to rest hitting for a .300, a .402 on base percentage and led the team in home runs and RBI. Naturally, it was assumed that Buck would be playing everday for the A's in right field.

However, manager Bob Geren was never a member of the Travis Buck fan club.

Geren decided initially to platoon Buck, only starting him against right handers. The logic never made sense though.

Usually, when a player is to be platooned against left handed pitchers, they are platooned with a player that can hit those lefties better. Buck's platoon partner, outfielder Rajai Davis, wasn't any better at hitting lefties than Buck himself. Buck's career average against left handers was two points higher than Davis. Also, he isn't considered a core piece of the future of the Oakland A's, so it seemed odd to give him the at bats. Up until this point, it seemed as if Travis Buck was one of those players. Now, I'm not so sure....Only because A's management won't let him be.

Buck needs to be up with the major league roster and he needs to be playing everday. He is doing everything in his power to prove he belongs. Whatever the case may be, whether it's Beane or manager Bob Geren, the conflict needs to be resolved and the egos need to be checked. Travis Buck has earned his right to play everday.

If Buck can't force Beane to call him back up, then perhaps his play in Sacramento will force Billy to trade him. Either way, it's a no win situation for Oakland with Buck off of the 25 man roster.




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com