OAKLAND — It seems like a tradition in Oakland, and this year was no exception. The A’s had players that they couldn’t control past this year and therefore, they had to go. In a season that started with the A’s hoping for a repeat playoff appearance, it’s taken a turn for the worse as the cellar dwelling Athletics once again looked to get younger.
The A’s have been using Chris Bassitt as a human yo-yo between Oakland and AAA Nashville all year, but the major roster shake up began on July 23 when GM Billy Beane traded pitcher Scott Kazmir to the inter-division Houston Astros for minor leaguers Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham. Although A’s fans began questioning this movie immediately, it was not surprising to those familiar with how Oakland has operated in the past decade; take major league talent and trade it for minor league prospects. A’s fans can attempt to take solace in the fact that many experts really like Nottingham’s potential and see him as a future backstop for Oakland.
A few days later, utility player Ben Zobrist was traded to the Kansas City Royals for more minor league pitching. Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks. Manaea was thought to be the first overall pick in the draft a few years ago before the Astros selected Mark Appel. However, Manaea ended up having surgery and is trying to work his way back from that. Brooks struggled in very limited time with Kansas City but will get a more fair shake in Oakland.
Following Zobrist’s departure, it was Tyler Clippard’s turn to pack his bags. He likely won’t be too sad as he headed to the New York Mets who have a legitimate shot at playing baseball in OCtober for the first time since 2006. New York sent…a minor league pitcher to the bay. Casey Meisner is who came to the A’s and immediately became the A’s #10 prospect. Still fairly new to the pro scene, he’ll get to develop at Stockton for probably at least the rest of this year.
The A’s also traded Ryan Cook to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later and acquired Felix Doubront from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations.
None of these moves are very shocking, as the A’s MO has been to trade players that are not under club control for the following season, and none of the players listed above were likely to return for the green and gold next year.
The A’s don’t have a realistic shot at retaining talent until their owners allow Beane to pay players or they get a new stadium and can start making money that way, but more on that in the future.
In the meantime we’re left to watch this new batch of A’s prospects develop and hopefully play well. Possibly pull off a miracle and make the playoffs. That is, until they get traded to other major league teams for more minor league prospects.