Sep 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) follows through for his solo home run against the Texas Rangers during a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
In December of 2005, Billy Beane struck again, although we wouldn’t know it until 2012. Chad Gaudin was traded to Oakland for a player to be named later (Dustin Majewski). The A’s then traded Rich Harden and Gaudin to the Cubs for a slew of players. The main takeaway from that trade, nine years later? 2014 All-Star Josh Donaldson.
Eight days later, Beane completed a deal that sent Andre Ethier to the Dodgers for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez. Bradley played in only 96 games in 2006, but put up 14 home runs and 52 rbi, along with going 9-for-16 in an ALCS sweep at the hands of Detroit. Ethier has been in limbo in Los Angeles since the arrival of Yasiel Puig, but had an average per 162 games of 21 home runs and 87 rbi while playing regularly.
In May of 2007, the A’s purchased the contract of Jack Cust, or Babe Cust to some Dibs-loving broadcasters, from the San Diego Padres. Cust was productive for three seasons, averaging 28 home runs and 78 rbi from 2007-2009. 2010 saw a power outage from Cust, with just 13 homers and 52 rbi, and he was granted free agency. Cust signed with Seattle, playing in just 67 games with the Mariners in 2011, his final season in the bigs to date.
July of 2007 saw one of Ray Fosse‘s favorites leave town, when Jason Kendall was sent to the Chicago Cubs for Jerry Blevins (traded for Billy Burns last offseason), and Rob Bowen, who played in 68 games spread out over three seasons in Oakland. Of the $83.5M that Kendall made in his career, roughly $34M of that was when he was with Oakland, spanning three seasons of his fifteen year career. Kendall also saw his numbers drop, going from a .300+ hitter to averaging .270 with the A’s, along with none of the occasional home run power he showed in Pittsburgh.
2008 started with a bang, when Billy Beane shipped the likable Nick Swisher to the White Sox for Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney and Fautino De Los Santos. Gio Gonzalez pitched parts of four seasons with the A’s, improving each year, and culminating in a 2011 season that saw him go 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA. Gonzalez was shipped to Washington after the 2011 season for Tommy Milone (Sam Fuld, 2014), Derek Norris, Brad Peacock (Jed Lowrie, 2013) and A.J. Cole (traded back to Washington later). Ryan Sweeney was traded along with Andrew Bailey to Boston in 2011 for Josh Reddick and a couple of prospects in Miles Head and Raul Alcantara,who both played in Double-A Midland in 2014.
In July of 2008, the A’s traded Joe Blanton to the Phillies, and in return received Josh Outman (Seth Smith, 2012) and a couple of prospects that soon saw the waiver wire. While it may not seem like a hefty return, Joe Blanton had an ERA of 4.24 with Oakland, and a cumulative record of 51-46. To get Seth Smith for that down the road is not a terrible deal.
On November 12th, 2008, Billy Beane made the trade that no A’s fan likes to talk about. So we won’t.