The Oakland Athletics kept their revolving door spinning on Tuesday, making two more trades to acquire outfielder Craig Gentry from the Rangers and relief pitcher Luke Gregerson from the Padres.
This comes on the heels of a busy Monday when they signed Scott Kazmir and traded for closer Jim Johnson.
So what to make of their moves on Tuesday?
- Oakland gets: OF Craig Gentry, RHP Josh Lindblom
- Texas gets: OF Michael Choice, IF Chris Bostick
The name that jumps out at you right away is Choice, one of the A’s top prospects. Choice made his debut in the big leagues last season, hitting .278 in nine games with the A’s after a solid season in the minors.
But GM Billy Beane is in full win-now mode, and he can’t be sure that they “win-now” with Choice as their fourth outfielder next season behind Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, and Coco Crisp. The departures of Chris Young and Seth Smith this offseason turned a loaded outfield into one that suddenly lacked much-needed depth, thus the acquisition of Gentry, who hit .280 with two home runs, 22 RBI, and 24 stolen bases in 106 games with the Rangers last season. In Gentry, the A’s do get that reliable fourth outfielder.
Nothing says “win-now” more than the A’s trading away all of their top draft picks from 2008-2010. Grant Green (13th overall, 2009) was traded in the middle of last season for veteran infielder Alberto Callaspo, Jemile Weeks (12th overall, 2008), was shipped to Baltimore on Monday for closer Jim Johnson, and Choice was the 10th overall pick in 2010. Three talented prospects dealt for three proven veterans. Did I mention that Billy Beane was in win-now mode?
- Oakland gets: RHP Luke Gregerson
- San Diego gets: OF Seth Smith
Some may question why the A’s traded away a top prospect earlier in the day, but very few would question this deal.
In Gregerson, the A’s get themselves a veteran setup man who bolsters an already-strong back end of the bullpen of Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook. Gregeron went 6-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 73 games last season with the Padres, and has been consistent with a 2.88 ERA through five seasons in the big leagues. And more importantly, his acquisition means the A’s have three setup men in the bullpen, so the starter would only have to pitch five innings before Bob Melvin would be able to turn things over to the bullpen to close out the game. During the grind of a 162 game season and especially the playoffs, pitching staffs often get worn down and a solid bullpen can do wonders to push a team to victory.
In this straight-up deal, the A’s sent Smith to the Padres, which doesn’t really affect a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Smith spent most of his time as a DH last season as part of the platoon in the outfield for the A’s. He hit .253 with eight homers and 40 RBI in 117 games. Not bad, but I’ll take a solid reliever over an average platoon outfielder any day of the week.
Anyone would be a fool to suggest that the A’s are done making deals this offseason. They already have another potential deal waiting to happen, as reports have been swirling this week about pitcher Brett Anderson possibly being dealt. They also could use an upgrade at second base, and although the rest of the roster looks good, you never know what Beane has up his sleeve.
“It’d be too early to close up shop,” Beane told USA Today. “You’d be foolish not to look for creative ways once again to improve the entire organization. … There’s a lot of winter left. A lot can happen.”