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A's Trade 3B Donaldson to Toronto

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#101 USAFChief

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 11:09 PM

Watching the A's play (and Lawrie play awfully) reminded me of this thread.
 
Damn I should've taken this bet......(And that's with Plouffe having a damn fine year too!)


I'll pay up just for offering the bet.

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#102 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 04:29 AM

 

I'll pay up just for offering the bet.

 

Can we both consider ourselves winners since Plouffe has gone on to get even better too?

 

This trade though, and most of the offseason Beane moves, have been an utter disaster.

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#103 kab21

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 06:14 AM

I concluded that the A's offseason consisted of making moves for the sake of making moves and shuffling players.I particularly didn't like the Donaldson trade since part of it was defended as him getting expensive but then they signed Butler to more money.However I loved the Norris trade to SD for Hahn since Norris is a terrible catcher and they had a catching platoon replacement ready to go.

 

Trading Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie and prospects – I like Franklin Barreto a lot but it just doesn’t make sense to downgrade this much (Donaldson is really, really good). Some have defended the trade since Josh Donaldson is almost 30 and is ready to hit his decline years. I’m not buying this argument since the Athletics just overpaid for a mediocre DH that is the same age and is the best example of a player that isn’t going to age well.

 

 

Of course the most reasonable explanation to this confusion is that Billy Beane just couldn’t say no to his two favorite players (Zobrist and Butler) and instead of finding a market inefficiency he paid above market price to add them like an overzealous bidder. Of course this criticism means that the Athletics will be awesome this year and I will look rather foolish in hindsight but I’m not afraid to share an unpopular opinion.

 

I have since given up on baseball blogging but here is the original - https://fantasybaseb...etics-thinking/

I have given up since I already blog 5-10 times personally and write 5-10 articles for my waterfall/hiking guide.I really don't want to be writing more articles even if baseball blogging is fun.

Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#104 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:12 AM

 

I concluded that the A's offseason consisted of making moves for the sake of making moves and shuffling players.I particularly didn't like the Donaldson trade since part of it was defended as him getting expensive but then they signed Butler to more money.  

 

Right, but even regardless of the Butler signing, this trade always had poor value.

 

Donaldson for this motley bunch is going to go down as a heist for Toronto and it was forseeable at the time if the pro-Beane blinders go off.


#105 kab21

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:55 AM

 

Right, but even regardless of the Butler signing, this trade always had poor value.

 

Donaldson for this motley bunch is going to go down as a heist for Toronto and it was forseeable at the time if the pro-Beane blinders go off.

this was not the common opinion at the time.there were many that thought Lawrie and Donaldson were not going to be that far apart starting this year (national writers and on this board).They were continuing to fall into the trap that young players always make X amount of improvement and they were drastically overstating Donaldson's decline because he was 30(ish).Basically they were Beane's sheeple.

 

the butler signing completely debunked any possible theory that the A's made the trade because they were under financial pressure.

 

At least Barreto has been awesome.He is a 19 yr old in High A (albeit Cal league) with a .800 OPS at SS.He should be a top 25 prospect by the end of the season.that doesn't make up for Donaldson but it's something.

 

 

Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#106 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 11:13 AM

I agree it was a lot of blind devotion to Beane that helped justify the move.  The logic on Lawrie not being as much of a downgrade was always the most insane and completely bizarre part.  

 

There is nothing about Lawrie but former hype for anyone to think that.  


#107 spycake

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:54 AM

 

this was not the common opinion at the time.there were many that thought Lawrie and Donaldson were not going to be that far apart starting this year (national writers and on this board).They were continuing to fall into the trap that young players always make X amount of improvement and they were drastically overstating Donaldson's decline because he was 30(ish).Basically they were Beane's sheeple.

I don't know if that was the common opinion either.  More common was the reason that small-market Oakland has to reload when they can, and trading one guy at peak value for multiple pieces is what they have to do.  A lot of commenters seemed to say that, even while acknowledging Toronto likely won the deal.

 

But I think Donaldson was too good, too far away from FA, and Oakland too close to contending to really make this look good for the A's.


#108 spycake

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 11:10 AM

 

At least Barreto has been awesome.He is a 19 yr old in High A (albeit Cal league) with a .800 OPS at SS.He should be a top 25 prospect by the end of the season.that doesn't make up for Donaldson but it's something.

Just looked it up -- Barreto was up to #22 on BA's midseason prospect list (which doesn't yet include 2015 draftees or international signings, but still that's pretty good -- just 3 spots behind Berrios).

 

Graveman is the latest effective no-name SP for Oakland this year, with 1.4 WAR already per B-Ref.

 

Lawrie has been healthy and compiling a Plouffe-esque line, to the tune of 1.7 WAR this year.

 

Nolin seems to still be stalled out in AAA.

 

I'd still prefer Donaldson, who is cementing his status as a true superstar on both sides of the ball, but the Oakland return hasn't been embarrassing so far.  They are far less likely to win 95 games this year or the next few seasons without Donaldson, but this collection of players might help them project as ~85 win team for longer?  Will be interesting to follow.


#109 kab21

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 07:25 PM

If you need to reload when you can then don't make big trades for one year rentals like Zobrist.If you need to save cash then don't re-invest that cash in slow DH's that don't have power.That is the problem with the moves.They make no sense from a bigger picture of the arguments presented.

 

Here is the even sillier part of the trade.Lawrie is cheaper but he actually becomes a FA before Donaldson. 

 

Assigning value to Graveman in a trade for a borderline MVP candidate is almost like the Duensing rule.He is still just a toss-in. 

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Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#110 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 07:55 PM

Right, nothing about the deal made sense at the time and it only became more baffling with each subsequent move. 


#111 drjim

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 08:18 PM

The whole series of moves from last year's deadline to now have been baffling. It will be very interesting to see what they do in the next week and a half.

 

I really think they had a legit two year window of last year and this year and have traded that in for extended meh.

Papers...business papers.

#112 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 05:04 AM

The whole series of moves from last year's deadline to now have been baffling. It will be very interesting to see what they do in the next week and a half.
 
I really think they had a legit two year window of last year and this year and have traded that in for extended meh.


That's just it, if they wanted to truly contend than super cheap MVP candidates with tons of team control are the ones they should be looking to add and keep, not deal at the first sign of success.

#113 Blake

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:37 AM

 

And Mr. Beane once again plays Stratomatic baseball.I'll repeat something I said during the summer- I would have a hard time being a fan of a team that was constantly rebooting by trading away very good and popular players as if they were stocks, trying to capture some small alpha of difference.Especially since, like most active fund managers, his returns don't have much of a payoff.

 

I continue to think that his fan base would like to keep a few talented players around for a while, just for kicks.So of course now he's going to trade Shark- that's what he does.Analysts love it, the fans stay away,And the A's have only won one playoff series since 1990 (beating the Twins in 2006, of course), but Beane's a genius. In fact, they have 6 first-round exits since 2000, not including the one-game wild-card loss this fall.He gets a pass on the same thing people here use to trash the Twins.

 

I don't think his trades are bad, in a vacuum- far from it.But what's he really done?Besides not persuade anyone to build the team a stadium, not persuade fans to attend the games, and having a lot of first-round exits in the playoffs?Oh, right, Brad Pitt played him in a movie.

 

I'll hold Beane to the same standard people hold Ryan and other GMs.Don't show me "value-maximizing" trades.Show me the ring.

Beane is doing what the Twins were accused of doing when Calvin Griffith was the owner: Oakland has become a farm team for the rest of MLB.

 

Beane is very good at identifying talent. However, Beane has no idea how to bring home a championship. Or, Beane is more interested in showing off his player development acumen than he is in bringing home a World Series ring.


#114 spycake

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 09:39 AM

 

Right, nothing about the deal made sense at the time and it only became more baffling with each subsequent move. 

 

 

The whole series of moves from last year's deadline to now have been baffling. It will be very interesting to see what they do in the next week and a half.

 

I don't know if it's that baffling.  It doesn't always fit any simple "go big", "go cheap", or "rebuild" narrative, but I think there is a pattern.  I am not endorsing the pattern or the moves, but it's there.

 

They like to make deals early, and they don't really care about having elite players/prospects and prefer a more even talent spread in their roster and organization.  I think they'd rather have a stable 80-85 win projection every year, and give up some likelihood of 90+ win seasons in the process, but also reduce the risk of bottoming out with sub-70 win seasons.  Similarly they like to keep payroll steady, although they are not overly concerned with either buying or selling for payroll reasons.

 

So, when they look like a WS contender in early July 2014, they use their elite prospect (Russell) to add 2 SP well ahead of the trade deadline, the better of whom could be flipped again in the offseason or will eventually return a comp pick.  Then at the deadline, they exchanged 1.5 years of Cespedes (whose contract forbids a qualifying offer and thus no comp pick) for 0.5 years of Lester and Gomes.  Then, early in the offseason, Donaldson and Samardzija are both cashed in for multiple players at different stages of readiness/contribution, including a ready SS and catcher.  Then extra catchers and another SS prospect are sent out for comp-pick-eligible Zobrist and a few ready pitchers, with Clippard and Butler helping fill out the roster.  Current payroll remains the same, projected payroll is probably mostly unaffected too, I'd guess.

 

Again, not an endorsement of any of these moves, but that's the pattern I see.  Not that much different from moves they've been making the past 10 years or so, except Russell and Donaldson are generally viewed as better than Carlos Gonzalez, Gio Gonzalez, Dan Haren, etc.

 

I am sure it is frustrating for their fans at times, but it's certainly interesting for a neutral observer to watch!


#115 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 09:52 AM

I do understand what you're saying spycake, but this particular deal and the subsequent moves don't seem to fit that pattern.  And I think the explanation for that lies in the report about the feuds between Beane and Donaldson.


#116 spycake

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:22 AM

 

I do understand what you're saying spycake, but this particular deal and the subsequent moves don't seem to fit that pattern.

How not?

 

Donaldson was traded as soon as he was eligible for arbitration, the same as Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Nick Swisher, etc.  (I think a few others like Dan Haren went a year later, but still pretty early.)

 

He was traded for a mix of cheaper present and future pieces, including a not-nearly-as-good-but-competent replacement, a couple pitchers, and a SS prospect on the rise.

 

It seems to fit the pattern pretty well, as do the subsequent moves.  Samardzija was flipped for multiple pieces, Norris (from a position of strength) for a couple pieces.  Soon-to-be FA Jaso, who wasn't going to get a QO and comp pick, was traded for a player who could (Zobrist).

 

Even Butler was signed first thing in the offseason, which fits the aggressiveness theme.  That looks like a regrettable move, but his contract really isn't out of line with past FA attempts by Beane, especially given Butler's relative youth and health.

 

It was a flurry of activity, to be sure, and magnified by their recent midseason deals and contender status, but they seem to fit the theme.


#117 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:46 AM

In the case of Cahill, Gio, and Swisher - they were dealt during swoons when the team was 10-15 games under .500 that year or the previous year.  There was no such problem for the A's this year - they were a playoff team that still had the makings of a good pitching staff.

 

If they had kept Donaldson and signed Butler and traded for Zobrist it would've made far more sense.


#118 spycake

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:46 AM

 

Here is the even sillier part of the trade.Lawrie is cheaper but he actually becomes a FA before Donaldson. 

It's not that silly, given the A's pattern.  They don't care whether a guy has 3 or 4 years of control left, hence why they are always so willing to deal guys early.  The key point for them is not waiting too long to deal star-level talents who can return multiple pieces.

 

Assigning value to Graveman in a trade for a borderline MVP candidate is almost like the Duensing rule.He is still just a toss-in. 

Graveman was the 3rd or potentially 4th ranked piece in the deal, that's not assigning him a disproportionate amount of value.

 

By the time the Duensing rule was created, Duensing was a failed starter / middling reliever pushing 30 years old and arbitration.  That's basically a valueless player, as far as trades are concerned.  Graveman is no star, but given his recent draft status and rapid ascent through the minors, he was much closer to a Baker circa 2006 or Slowey circa 2008 type prospect.  Not a star, not a trade headliner, but again, not valueless.


#119 spycake

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:55 AM

 

In the case of Cahill, Gio, and Swisher - they were dealt during swoons when the team was 10-15 games under .500 that year or the previous year.  There was no such problem for the A's this year - they were a playoff team that still had the makings of a good pitching staff.

 

If they had kept Donaldson and signed Butler and traded for Zobrist it would've made far more sense.

The A's from 2007-2011 were in a permanent swoon, so you're basically nullifying all of those years and players from your sample.  Since they started winning again in 2012, they hadn't had another star to trade until Donaldson.

 

I think the A's of the past 10 years have been trying to operate differently than the A's of the early Beane period -- no more letting stars walk, and no more attempts at long-term contracts like Eric Chavez.  Deal early and often.

 

It would have been much more surprising to see Beane deviate from this more recent pattern because of his team's record.

Edited by spycake, 21 July 2015 - 10:56 AM.


#120 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:27 PM

 

It would have been much more surprising to see Beane deviate from this more recent pattern because of his team's record.

 

Except all their moves were designed, at least seemingly, to continue to contend.  Most of the talents they acquired were major league ready.

 

What it looks like to me, and it's the easiest explanation, would be that Donaldson complained about the team's strategy and got dealt and that Beane thought (foolishly IMO) that he was getting a comparable player in Brett Lawrie.

 

The problem wasn't the strategy, it was what he targeted for a return.