Would the A’s Trade Yoenis Cespedes?
By Joseph Lopez
Oct 7, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits an RBI single against the Detroit Tigers during the third inning of game two of the 2012 ALDS at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
With the A’s boasting an excess in outfield help, would Billy Beane and the front office ever think about trading Yoenis Cespedes? It does sound crazy, but with the A’s having plenty of options in the outfield right now a trade involving Cespedes is not impossible.
Oakland signed the Cuban star last offseason to a four-year $36 million contract and if traded Cespedes would be a very affordable outfield star. Cespedes, 27, played very well in his first full year of big league action. In 129 games this year in Oakland, the outfielder hit .292/.356/.505 with 23 HR and 82 RBI.
He led the team in OBP (.356) and in OWAR (4.2). He was also Oakland’s hottest hitter in the ALDS against Detroit, going 5-19 (.316) in the five game series with two RBI. The A’s took a gamble on Cespedes, but if his first year is any indication of his talent, then the gamble may pay off for the A’s.
While serving as an important member of Oakland’s lineup, Cespedes played solid defense for what shaped up to be one of the AL’s better defensive outfield corps. With Cespedes playing in left, the A’s got solid defense out of Coco Crisp in center and from Josh Reddick in right.
The acquisition of Chris Young, however, makes Oakland’s outfield all the more interesting. With Young now in the fold, the A’s have a surplus of starting outfielders and could make a move to deal one of them. Will they deal Cespedes? My answer is no, they will not.
Will they listen in on offers for their young Cuban star? Probably. Who wouldn’t? With his value at an all-time high, Cespedes would likely bring in some serious talent Oakland’s way, but why would the A’s want to tamper with their depth in the outfield?
The A’s have been killed by injuries in recent years and depth, in any form, should not be tampered with. Heck, the A’s made it to the playoffs this year because of their depth.
From the starting rotation to various spots in the infield, the A’s had to mix-and-match what they had available to them. Trading away all their options, at this point, anyway, would seem counterproductive.
Do they have players to trade? Certainly. Should they trade them? No.
Guys like Josh Reddick and Seth Smith, both of whom provided the team with power, are likely going to be popular targets this offseason.
Reddick, who also proved to be an absolute steal last offseason for Billy Beane, provided the offense with 32 HR and 85 RBI. Smith, meanwhile, split time between the outfield and at DH while providing the team with 14 HR in 125 games.
Both Reddick and Smith are expected to be back in Oakland next year.
So while the A’s could entertain offers from opposing clubs for their Cuban star and other members of their outfield, the likelihood of the A’s dealing any of them are slim. The more likely scenario is that the A’s will enter 2013, barring any injuries or trades, with plenty of depth in the outfield.
From Cespedes to the newly acquired Young, Oakland will have plenty to boast about in ’13.