The A’s made plenty of moves this offseason, along with trading away Travor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez they also acquired 8,903,247 outfielders, a veteran pitcher and Manny Ramirez. I am here to give my grade on each move, I can’t say I would do better than Billy Beane, but I can say I have my own opinions on things.
(RHP) Jarrod Parker, (RHP) Ryan Cook and (OF) Collin Cowgill for (RHP) Trevor Cahill, (LHP) Craig Breslow: Jarrod Parker was the center of this trade, the A’s essentially received a pitcher the same age as Cahill, but with Jarrod Parker having only played 1 game in the majors, he has a lot less service time and the potential to be the future ace for this club. Although Jarrod Parker had some control issues this spring, we should not be alarmed, Parker has been ranked the number 1 prospect in the organization by several experts including Baseball America, John Sickels and MLB.com (Baseball Prospectus has him listed as number 2). B+
(RHP) Brad Peacock, (LHP) Tom Milone, (C) Derek Norris and (RHP) A.J. Cole for (LHP) Gio Gonzalez: I think most agree that the A’s got the better end of this deal. The package was built around Brad Peacock, who has the potential to be a middle of the rotation guy. He has a live fastball that sits around 92-94 MPH, but can reach as high as 95-97 MPH, his downfall being his control issues. While Gio Gonzalez had put up decent numbers for the A’s, they were able to obtain three of the Nationals top prospects in return in Peacock, Norris and Cole. Tom Milone was not a top prospect, but Bob Melvin liked what they saw from him this spring and has named him as the third starter. A-
(OF) Josh Reddick, (IF) Miles Head and (RHP) Raul Alcantara for (RHP) Andrew Bailey and (OF) Ryan Sweeney: I never really gave this trade a fair chance from the beginning since Billy Beane had said he was going to be asking for a high return on Bailey, but received an “okay” return instead. I don’t think very highly of closers, but I would have liked to seen Beane maybe get a little more in return. Josh Reddick was the center piece of this trade and I do think he will be a decent addition to the lineup, I was just hoping for someone with more of a power swing.
Miles Head is the most interesting piece of this trade in my opinion, John Sickels describes him as a “Grade C+ type who has major league potential but still has things to prove. He could develop into a very productive slugger, but could also fizzle out as a Quadruple-A bat without a real position.” C
Resigning (OF) Coco Crisp (2-years $14 million): When the A’s first resigned Coco this off season I really liked this signing for a couple of reasons, I liked that they were bringing a fan favorite back to the team and because there were so many questions about the A’s outfield at the time. The good thing about the Crisp signing is we know what we get with him, he can get on base, he will hit the occasional home run and he lead the American League in steals last season. Now with a crowded outfield, and him moving to left, I am not sure that this signing was the best move the A’s made this off season. C+
Signing Bartolo Colon (1-year $2 million): I wasn’t against this signing when it first happened, but after seeing how the A’s truly lack in the starting pitching department this season, I really like like it. Bartolo Colon not only brings a veteran presence to the pitching staff, but with him being in the rotation it allows players like Jarrod Parker and Brad Peacock more time in the minors to work on their command. B
(OF/DH) Seth Smith for (LHP) Josh Outman and (RHP) Guillermo Moscosco: When this trade first happened I was confused, but not necessarily in a bad way. At the time our outfield included the likes of Collin Cowgill, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick, so it wasn’t a bad trade. Now that we have a stock pile of outfielders and like I said before, not the greatest options to start, I am not so sure this was a necessary move. C+
Signing Jonny Gomes (OF/DH) (1-year $1 million): It’s hard for me to hate this signing because Gomes is not only a hometown guy, but he also admits to being an A’s fan growing up. Initially I assumed Seth Smith and Gomes would platoon in left field together, but now it is more likely they will be doing so in the DH role. C+
Signing Yoenis Cespedes (OF) (4-years $36 million): This is probably my favorite move of the off season, although the A’s didn’t really need another outfielder and it’s quite a pricey contract for a team trying to make cuts to the payroll, I love that Billy Beane swooped in and picked up the outfielder all of us fans only dreamed of having on the team. We really don’t know how Cespedes will perform in the majors, but his potential is what really excites me about him. A
Manny Ramirez (DH) (1-year minor league deal $500,000) : When I first heard that the A’s were talking to Manny I hated the idea, but by the time the deal was done I was completely for it. The big reason why I don’t think this is a bad signing is because it’s a minor-league deal that’s worth barely over league minimum, and since it’s prorated the A’s will be paying him under $350,000. He’s also another veteran presence, who has the potential to drive in runs for a team that has a hard time scoring them and if he brings fans out to Coliseum that’s another added bonus. B+
I can’t complain too much because there were no moves that were “fail” worthy, but there is one key move that is missing for me. In my opinion the A’s should have signed at least one additional reliever and I believe going into the season the bullpen will be their weakest link.