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What If the A’s Aren’t Sellers and Beane Holds?

July 27, 2011

In her recap for yesterday’s victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle while talking about the A’s recent success (and particularly their renewed offensive ability) said that it is very well possible that Billy Beane may sit with the players he has an not make a deal. She quotes Beane saying,

“We’ve accepted calls on players, but we made it clear we’re not going to give these guys away. We don’t have any monetary issues, and we’re not looking to dump payroll. If we did anything, it would have to help us significantly moving forward, not some team’s prospect No. 37.

In respect for Bob Melvin, we’re not going to strip-mine things for two months for players of no consequence.”

This is actually a different approach than I thought Oakland would be taking. I figured guys like Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and Josh Willingham would all be dealt to the highest bidder even if those offers were underwhelming. It seems like Beane is intent on holding onto these guys, and while in the case of David DeJesus (projecting to be a Type B free-agent) and Josh Willingham (currently projecting to be a Type A free-agent but on the cusp) the benefits of holding onto them and offering arbitration could be extra supplemental draft picks. I have to think that in the case of either of those two they would decline arbitration making it a relative risk free proposition by the A’s – conversely if they were to accept it, it would mean fewer holes for Oakland to fill in their increasingly vacant 2012 outfield picture.

One person mentioned in the article that hadn’t been mentioned before as a potential trade piece is Brad Ziegler. According to Slusser another team inquired about the right-handed reliever and,

“found the A’s demands reasonable, making a potential deal possible.”

If the A’s choose to stand pat and collect draft picks for DeJesus and Willingham, this could make for an interesting second half. Furthermore with Willingham still looking less fleet-of-foot due to his achilles problems and recently limited to a designated hitter role due to stiffness in his neck, the A’s might not even have a market for him. If they go with this plan of holding, I think the best option would be to draft guys like Sonny Gray, who can be ready to step into the higher levels of the minor league system faster, as the A’s will need replenishment from the system sooner rather than later. We’ll have to see what deals come up for these guys, and this could still be a public relations smokescreen from Beane and his team, but we will know within four days.

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