Billy Beane’s Track Record Post Mulder, Hudson Deals

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Aug 25, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Brandon Moss (37) gets a single during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The trading in 2010 started off on January 16th, with the aforementioned trade that landed Oakland Eric Soagrd and Kevin Kouzmanoff from San Diego. As the calendar turned to February, the A’s acquired the popular Adam Rosales for Aaron Miles.

After drafting Justin Marks in 2009, Marks was then traded to Kansas City in November of 2010 along with Vin Mazzaro, in a trade that netted the A’s David DeJesus. This trade is of interest, only because the A’s acquired DeJesus (who underperformed in Oakland), but in 2014, Marks was purchased by the A’s, much like Brad “Dollar Bill” Mills. Marks, however, didn’t make it to Oakland. Instead, he was claimed off waivers by Texas two weeks after the A’s purchased him, and the Rangers released him a month after that.

At the end of the year, Billy Beane added a big bat in Josh Willingham from the Washington Nationals, sending Corey Brown (currently a free agent) and Henry Rodriguez (four teams since the trade) in return.

Thus far, Billy Beane has still arguably come out ahead in nearly every trade. All but one. Let’s continue.

Two deals that didn’t go so well for the A’s GM in 2011 were shipping off Mark Ellis to Colorado on June 30th for Bruce Billings, and trading Brad Ziegler to Arizona for Brandon Allen (signed with Mets on November 11th) and Jordan Norberto. Ellis was/is beloved in Oakland, and Billings didn’t pan out. Ziegler has been an effective reliever for the Diamondbacks since the trade, but the A’s bullpen has been just fine without him, ranking 4th, 6th and 3rd in bullpen ERA the last three years. It can be argued that Beane lost these deals, but the degree of that error is not great.

November 19th, 2011, the A’s signed Brandon Moss to a minor league deal. Let’s say that one paid off. On December 9th, the trades started coming. Craig Breslow (Red Sox currently) and Trevor Cahill (3-12, 5.61 ERA in 2014. Due $12M in 2015) were sent to Arizona for Collin Cowgill (traded to Mets for Jefry Marte, AA), Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook.

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The fun didn’t stop there, oh no! The A’s traded their closer, Andrew Bailey, 19 days later. Reddick’s 2012 season alone has outdone anything that Bailey (injuries) or Sweeney (now with the Cubs) did for Boston.

January 2012 saw the Outman (and Guillermo Moscoso) deal that brought Seth Smith to Oakland come to fruition. In August, our wonderful trade partners, the Arizona Diamondbacks sent over Stephen Drew in return for Sean Jamieson. Jamieson is still playing in Double-A, so it’s too early to judge that trade fully. The A’s needed an upgrade, and they got it. Was the price worth it? We’ll have to wait and see.

Beane got back to work before the playoffs even ended, acquiring Chris Young from, you guessed it, Arizona. The A’s sent Cliff Pennington in return. November 16th saw another one of those trades that makes A’s fans cringe. Tyson Ross (2.95 ERA the past two seasons) and A.J. Kirby-Jones were sent to San Diego in return for Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner. While Parrino is an excellent defensive shortstop, his bat has been non-existent at the major league level, totaling a .179 batting average across 240 at-bats in four seasons. Ross would sure be nice to have right now.

Another piece to the puzzle was added in January of 2013, when the A’s traded prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen to the Nationals in a three-team trade, and received John Jaso in return. A.J. Cole may turn out to be really good, but right now, the trade is alright. Cole is only 22.

February 4th saw Jed Lowrie come to town. April saw Stephen Vogt traded to Oakland for a player to be named later, as well as Travis Blackley on the move to Houston for Jake Goebbert (who has become Kyle Blanks). The A’s traded more young talent in July, acquiring Alberto Callaspo for Grant Green. This trend continued into the offseason, with the A’s sending prospect John Wooten to Washington for Fernando Abad, and later Jerry Blevins for the speedy Billy Burns.

December of last year. SO MANY TRADES! Seth Smith was shipped to San Diego for Luke Gregerson, Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom were acquired from Texas for Michael Choice and Christopher Bostick (minors), and Jim Johnson was acquired from the Orioles for Jemile Weeks. All of that happened on the same day, December 3rd.

One week later, after Billy Beane got back to work, trading oft-injured lefty, Brett Anderson and cash (which was arguably the better end of that deal) to Colorado, for Drew Pomeranz and Chris Jensen. In May, the A’s made another trade with the Padres, bringing Kyle Blanks into the fold for Jake Goebbert. Brad Mills was traded to Oakland for $1 in June, and Michael Taylor, out of options, was traded to the White Sox for Jake Sanchez (8-2, 3.42 ERA), who spent the season in Stockton.

Things got interesting in July. Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were brought over from the Cubs for top prospect Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily. It’s looking like the A’s will get the worse end of this deal, but that is the nature of deals done at the deadline. Could he have not paid so much? Possibly.

At the end of the month, the A’s acquired Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox (both are free agents) for beloved cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes. Sam Fuld was also re-acquired from the Twins for Tommy Milone.

So many trades! Just one more slide, for a recap, some analysis and the long-awaited verdict.