Sep 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss (37) hits a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals during the 2014 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 9-8. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Lesson Six: Never Settle For Inferior Prospects
Let’s go back to last season, when outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss slugged 25 homers and amassed 81 RBIs, despite suffering from a nagging hip injury for most of the season. Moss had offseason surgery to repair the problem, and was set to return in Spring Training. Yes, this created some questions about his health, but the reports were largely positive. He was also coming off of the best season of his career.
Beane felt that this was a good time to move Moss in order to get some salary relief. After what couldn’t have been more than one phone call, he agreed to accept second-tier infield prospect Joey Wendle from the Cleveland Indians in return for his All-Star slugger. Wendle is certainly not going to wow anyone with his talent, as he’s a fairly middle-of-the-pack middle infielder. The Indians never viewed him as a top prospect, with Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, and Erik Gonzalez all blocking his ascent to the majors.
Despite leading a bad Indians’ offense in home runs and RBIs, Moss has had a far less memorable season than he had in 2014. And yet, the Indians flipped Moss at the trade deadline for lefty Rob Kaminsky, one of the Cardinal’s top-ranked prospects. The 20-year-old pitcher is ranked 88th on MLB’s overall Top-100 list, so settling for Wendle now seems like an even bigger disappointment than it did when the trade happened.
That trade is the perfect example of the last and most important lesson of them all:
Next: We Just Can't Trust Beane Anymore