This week, Swingin’ A’s joined Ask.fm and sent a call out to our readers to ask us all sorts of questions. The response was so awesome that we’re going to do a weekly “mailbag” segment here on the site and feature some of our favorite questions. Feel free to ask us questions and we’ll be happy to answer. For this first week, all of the answers are provided by Tony Frye but Jason Burke will be contributing to the mailbag as well.
"Which of the recently acquired players do you think has the most potential?"
Brett Lawrie. In 2013, Donaldson hit a homerun once in 24 at bats. Lawrie hit a homerun once in 21. If he can stay healthy, his numbers could very well match or exceed JD’s. Billy Butler could also surprise people. With the right coaching, he could be a 30 home run hitter. You have to remember that Moss and Donaldson both credit Bush for their swing and he’s the new hitting coach. We may have more power than some people will lead you to believe.
"Do you think the A’s deserved more than just Joey Wendle for Brandon Moss? Or is Wendle someone we really needed?"
If Beane thinks it’s a fair trade then he’s done the research and sees something in Wendle that everyone else is missing. That being said, he may also assume something in Moss this coming year that put him into “whatever I can get” mode.
There were reports that Wendle was off the table and that’s why the negotiation took so long. If one team is willing to give up an all star and the other team is afraid to pull the trigger, there must be something there.
"Out of Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman and Chris Bassitt, which newly acquired hurler has the best chance to be in the A’s big league starting rotation come 2015 and why?"
Bassitt has the most major league innings of the three so, I’d assume, he’d be the most ready but you never know what will happen in spring training. I wouldn’t expect to see any of them in the Coliseum until the end of the year or if the team stinks so bad that Beane trades our entire staff at the deadline.
"Do you think we should get rid of the white shoes? I think it hurts us in free agency."
You shut your mouth! Those white shoes are legen, wait for it, dary and any free agent would be lucky and blessed to wear them.
I think the fact that they turn brown in the dugout and locker room has a bigger impact on free agency.
"What do you think Billy has planned for that extra money saved from trading out 3 A’s all stars."
He has said there is no mandate to lower payroll so that money is spendable. That being said, he may hold onto it for a little while and let everyone else spend their budget up. He did grab Cespedes in February when everyone else was cashed out. I think there will be at least one Butler type free agent signing in the future or a couple of fringe free agents with that money.
"Which catcher is the most vital to the club based on sexiness and ability to analyze play by play?"
"Who is the best player in the minors for Oakland?"
At the moment, Daniel Robertson (SS) is our top prospect. He was acquired the same year we grabbed Addison Russel so he hasn’t received as much notice but he’s got a very good bat and strong arms. He’s not super fast so it’s possible we’ll see him over at second or third when he gets called up (expected to be 2016).
In the minors, he had a .310 average, .402 OBP, and was good for 15 homers in 135 games. Not too bad if you ask me.
Franklin Barretto (SS), who we just grabbed last week, slates in as our #3 prospect behind Matt Olson. Barretto is very young and probably won’t get the call before 2017 but, at the moment, it is assumed that he’ll end up moving to another position which could keep Robertson at short.
All in all, our prospect roster looks much better than it did two months ago.
"If Benjamin Franklin was so smart, how come he’s dead?"
The problem with smarts is that sometimes you are just too far ahead of the curve. For example, Jules Verne wrote 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea before the submarine was ever invented and we all know that Albert Einstein had sketches of the iPhone in his files.
Benjamin Franklin undoubtedly knew the secret to eternal life on Earth but acquiring the technology required to bring his plans to fruition took much more time than he had left on the planet.
You can read all of the questions and answers at our profile over there. There were a ton of great questions and we’ll be doing the mailbag every Sunday so please keep them coming! Thanks for being an awesome group of readers, we love doing this for you!