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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
A’s - Acquired Hairston (and why the A’s might need a new GM)
Oakland A’s - Acquired OF Scott Hairston from the San Diego Padres for P Craig Italiano and P Ryan Webb
Hairston’s been an excellent hitter for the Padres since he was picked up from the Diamondbacks for Leo Rosales a couple of years ago, hitting 270/329/522 in just under 700 plate appearances. While Hairston was a good deal economically for the Padres, the Padres have a complex ownership situation, with Moorad buying the team from Moores and His Messy Divorce over a 5-year period, so they want to cut costs drastically even before taking into account the condition of the economy.
The A’s are in dire straits offensively, partly thanks to some inconsistent leadership from Beane over the last year or so. Rebuilding made a lot of sense in 2008 but the team did a 180 and made a few win-now moves when they sensed an opportunity. That was premature, however, and the team cannot be expected to score runs if they’re not developing offensive prospects, no longer picking up Ken Phelpsers, and not signing elite offensive players. Yes, the team should be better, but where are the high-upside chances on offense? Jack Cust gave the A’s two solid seasons and hopefully a third if he finally has one of his insane 1.200 OPS hot streaks, but what other freely available talent have the A’s taken advantage of on offense? They’re not even using the talent they actually have. Eric Patterson is completely wasting his time in the minors and Aaron Cunningham of the 325/390/589 AAA line must be wondering by now what the #### he has to hit to get a shot on a team that’s allegedly trying to win now with an offense that scores less often than your average chess club president.
The Hairston pickup is good, assuming the PTBNL isn’t a real prospect (or the rumored Sean Gallagher after the DL). Webb’s the better prospect, who throws hard and sort of knows what he’s doing, while Italiano also throws hard, but is rather clue-impaired.
Still, you get the sense that the front office the last 18 months or so has been reduced to making decisions merely on the tactical level, a la Dan O’Dowd. A lot of the moves the A’s have made have been positive in a completely isolated sense, such as the Holliday trade, but don’t seem to fit into a long-term strategic framework. As I suggest in the title, maybe it’s time the A’s move another direction in regards to team management. I think Beane’s been a great GM for the team overall, but after an extremely long stint, one has to wonder if the A’s wouldn’t be better off if they had someone making personnel decisions that had a few more big ideas that they’re just itching to implement. Creative energy can become stagnant, no matter how talented the individual in question is.
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