Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saltzman Says...A's are set for the next fire sale

The Oakland A's have signed their top two pitchers to small market friendly extensions.

This headline reminds me of the other times the A's did the exact same thing.  Oakland has always tried to put a competitive team on the field.  Whether it was the big three of Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito, or the big bats of Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada, the A's have always had talent.  When the A's traded Mark Mulder to the Cardinals for Dan Haren and Daric Barton, it looked like the A's were going back to the drawing board.  But as Haren developed into an ace, it was clear the A's had something.  That was until the A's traded Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.  Now, Billy Beane did receive a mint for Haren that included Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson.  However, the same GM that was re-tooling gave up Carlos Gonzalez for a rental in Matt Holliday.  Confused yet?  I have always been amazed at the talent the A's have had in their system and on the field and how inconsistent Billy Beane has been forced to be.  One year they are filling their roster with vets to surround the young players, and the next they are letting the young players survive on the big stage alone.

Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson are the future for the A's, but for how long?

Best Case Scenario:  With Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson signed for the next 4 years, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden take less money to stay as well.  That foursome rivals the Red Sox and Rays for American league dominance for the next four years, and free agents are willing to take less money to join the staff in Oakland.

Worst Case Scenario: In two years, after Dallas Braden is released because he is going to make too much in arbitration, the A's trade both Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez and get young prospects in return.  Trevor Cahill is left to fend by himself, just like Dan Haren, and after a few more lonely trips to the All-Star game, is traded to a big market team for 5-6 top prospects.

Why is the city of Oakland currently stuck with 3 sports franchises that don't know how to build a champion anymore.  I was born in 1980, so I missed the glory years of the 1970's when all three teams were champions.

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