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Winter Meetings Day Two: Bailey, Ponson, Gio, CoJax and San Jose

December 6, 2011

Lots of news again today which is unsurprising because it is after all the action packed winter meetings. The day started with the Red Sox and Athletics meeting about Andrew Bailey. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe early this morning tweeted about the Red Sox’ interest saying,

“Red Sox will make an attempt on A’s closer Andrew Bailey, a team source said.”

It still seems as if Bailey has about a zero chance of sticking around with the A’s through the offseason, let alone through the week. The A’s are apparently asking for a lot (for not only Bailey but Gio Gonzalez as well) and another potential Bailey suitor was turned off by Billy Beane‘s requests as tweeted by Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,

“A’s asking price for Andrew Bailey currently too much for #Rangers to seriously consider.”

Big news this morning however could alter the market for Bailey. The talk has been all about how highly valued closers have been with Jonathan Papelbon getting a very generous deal as have fellow closers Heath Bell and Joe Nathan. Today we had the first significantly (or at least seemingly) undervalued closer as the White Sox dealt Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays (also filling another potential landing spot for Bailey) in exchange for Nestor Molina a not-exceptionally regarded 23-year-old prospect who had a very good year split between Dunedin and New Hampshire. That Santos was available for such a low price may make the rumored high asking price for Bailey tougher to attain. Also as a numbers game several suitors who needed closers have filled their openings and with the number of potential destinations going down one has to wonder if Bailey’s marketplace value has peaked without the A’s having yet moved him. Also, the Royals are said to be interested in moving Joakim Soria for pitching and Soria could trump Bailey as an option on the marketplace too.

The asking price for Gio Gonzalez also seems to be high. Yesterday, I guessed that the only legitimate suitors who may have the bounty the A’s want back were Kansas City and the Yankees. News on both those fronts came today, first the Royals rumors were supported by Buster Olney of ESPN who tweeted,

“KC reportedly interested in Gio and [Trevor] Cahill would be a nice fit too. But there’s no way deal would be made without [Mike] Moustakas, [Wil] Myers or [Eric] Hosmer.”

But then later were debunked by Jane Lee of MLB.com who wrote,

“Beane shot down the #Royals rumors surrounding Gio Gonzalez.”

Joel Sherman of the New York Post then added another element that perhaps allows Kansas City to be involved in the deal without Gio going to Kansas City. He reiterates the Yankees’ continued interest in Gio but cautions,

“To get Gio from #A’s, #Yankees probably would have do 3-way deal because Oak wants hi[gh]-end young OFs and NYY has none at Double-A or higher.

One concern that A’s fans should not have anymore is the idea of Sidney Ponson coming to the A’s. The “No Ponsons” hashtag on Twitter is not responsible, but the backstory is provided by Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, writing of the Ponson to Oakland rumors as,

“bogus. Ponson has no intention of pitching again.

His agent happened to chat briefly with Oakland general manager Billy Beane, and a reporter tweeted that the two sides were discussing Ponson. Meanwhile, Ponson is chilling in Fort Lauderdale and contemplating whether he should buy a boat.”

While it seems interest in Hideki Matsui continues to fade, rumors have appeared that the A’s may be interested in bringing back the services of Conor Jackson who they traded to the Boston Red Sox before the August 31st trade deadline in exchange for MiLB pitcher Jason Rice whom the A’s bungled and then subsequently lost to the Cleveland Indians a few days later off waivers. When the Red Sox acquired Conor Jackson they were in 1st place one game ahead of the New York Yankees, a lead they blew not only to the Yankees but to the Tampa Bay Rays too who at that point sat, nine games behind them. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote of the A’s interest in Jackson saying,

“Beane said the A’s might find short-term options for the outfield on the free-agent market, and two team sources confirmed that Conor Jackson, a [Bob] Melvin favorite, is a definite consideration.”

Jackson was worth a disappointing -0.1 WAR on the 2011 season, though he was worth 0.2 WAR during his portion of the year with Oakland (curse of Conor Jackson Red Sox fans?). On the entire year he hit, .244/.310/.341 with five home runs in 390 plate appearances. He was not particularly patient (8.2% BB%) though he was not often felled by strikeout (13.6%). He is not someone that I feel represents much of an upgrade to the very thin outfield and I would not endorse his being brought back.

In that same article, Slusser also says that Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox is an ally in the A’s move to San Jose. He says,

“I’m totally supportive of Lew [Wolff] getting a new ballpark and going to San Jose. He needs to be there. It has to come to a head soon. Certainly, [the Coliseum is] past its time. In my opinion, Oakland’s past its time, too. Oakland’s had plenty of opportunity to build a stadium and hasn’t gotten it done.”

Nouveau riche Miami Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria seconded the sentiment on a day in which his club heavily pursued Albert Pujols, saying,

“I saw years ago if we were to get a new stadium, how spectacular things could be, and we’re working toward that now.”

A’s manager Bob Melvin spoke with reporters today and Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News reported some interesting news about some A’s farmhands who could potentially aid in the outfield vacancies. He wrote,

“Melvin spoke highly of outfielders Michael Choice and Grant Green – the A’s top two hitting prospects – but he suggested that Choice (a 2010 first-round pick) could be on the faster track to the bigs. Choice hit 30 homers last season with Single-A Stockton and the initial thought was that another full season in the minors was needed. But Melvin believes there’s a chance Choice might force his way into the picture next season. ‘I think Michael Choice is coming along a lot quicker than people would have thought,’ he said. While it might be a stretch to expect Choice to make the big league club this spring, Melvin added: ‘There always seems to be a couple guys that pop up in spring training that do something that you don’t expect.’

Green, the A’s 2009 first-round pick, has more professional experience under his belt, but considering he just converted from shortstop to center field midway through last season, it’s not surprising that Choice might be on the faster track as of now.”

No moves as of yet…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2011 11:14 pm

    ESPN is reporting that Hanley Ramirez told the Fish he wants to play SS. Maybe his discontent could free him loose? What do you think about Gio for Hanley? I know it is a bit more of a win now move for the A’s and that Hanley may not be much younger (or older) than Gio but it is a move I would make. This is totally off the cuff without much research or intense thought, but what do you think? Any chance at all it happens?

    • December 6, 2011 11:22 pm

      I don’t know. Off the cuff on my end I say no. First of HanRam just seems like a crappy teammate. He isn’t the type of player I’d want to root for. Doesn’t run out grounders, angry over position changes and public with it, etc. Talentwise I think we can get more in return for Gio and I think realistically it only makes sense to deal Gio in a rebuild. Now someone like Stanton who has little to no baggage and a long career ahead maybe is different. I recognized the screen name so no worries!

      • December 7, 2011 12:35 am

        Certainly valid concerns. If we can get better than Hanley I will take it for sure. I just want an answer on SJ so there is some sort of coherent plan.

      • December 7, 2011 1:03 pm

        I think an answer has to be forthcoming. Reinsdorf and Loria speaking up – though granted they are two of the more outspoken owners – to me is yet another signal that a resolution is imminent. Re: the haul for Gio, lot of rumors already overnight but I anticipate that we can do better than one expensive (though good player) and we can do better in terms of a lot of value over a timeframe that is more suitable towards our goals (competing when in a new stadium in San Jose). Also, you ought to check out the podcast I am a part of, you may be interested: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tarp-talk-an-oakland-as-podcast/id486176218

  2. December 6, 2011 11:15 pm

    Damn computer messed up the screen name. Oh well.

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