Right at the trade deadline, and with the A’s enjoying a 14 game lead in the AL West, Billy Beane decided to trade his All Star right fielder for two AA prospects and a pack of cigarettes. The fanbase was devastated. Surely he had learned from the mistakes of 2014 that no lead was safe and that a team on a roll was better left unchanged.
The negative affects of the trade were felt immediately. Crisp cried a lot more, Lawrie couldn’t hold his bat correctly and Gentry developed a severe drooling problem. The impact was beyond compare or reason. It all came to a head when, two weeks after the trade, Eric Sogard forgot how to tie his cleats and the A’s lead had slipped down to 8 games.