Quick thoughts on the Oakland Athletics' monster, stunning, mind-blowing, typically-Beane-ian deal with the Cubs for potential ace Jeff Samardzija and solid starter Jason Hammel for several top prospects:
When I talked to Billy Beane in May, he emphasized how valuable it was to succeed today and stop worrying about uncertainty in the A's future.
"The best part of baseball," Beane said, "is when you deal with the present."
Yeah, you could say that was a strong hint of things to come.
Back then, like now, Beane's A's were powering through the season with by far the best run-differential in baseball, were hitting on almost every cylinder, and were a clear World Series contender.
But still you sensed that if Beane could jigger a few things around, he most definitely would.
My goodness, he found a way to do that Friday night.
He gave up a lot shortstop Addison Russell could be a star for a long time, outfielder Billy McKinney was also a former first-round choice, and pitcher Dan Straily was key rotational depth.
(If you add in Michael Choice, Jemile Weeks and Grant Green, the A's have now dealt their 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 No. 1 picks all in less than a year. Weeks was in 2008, Green in 2009, Choice in 2010, Russell in 2012 and McKinney in 2013.)
But again, Beane got Samardzija, one of the prizes of the developing trade market, and Hammel, who should slot right into the A's projected playoff rotation.
The A's GM is dealing with today, because today and tomorrow are more important than anything else that's the way the A's baseball people are dealing with the stadium mess, the low-budget limitations (set by their owners) and by the whole setup of this oddball organization.
There is value in today. Win today. Win tomorrow. Deal with the future when the future comes.
That's what Beane did with this deal. The A's are appreciably better today than they were yesterday, there is no question about that.
You ask, my goodness, if Beane can pull this off, what could he do with a big budget and owners who cared about winning?
But I think Beane and his front office are better in this situation. They need to innovate and think differently than everybody else, so they are driven to do it. They're not afraid of anything and in fact they love to do the stuff most other teams wouldn't dare to do.
Because they're the A's, and they can't do what the Yankees, Dodgers or Red Sox (or Giants) can do, they're free to do it differently, and they're better for it. I believe Billy thinks that too.
And oh yes, Beane wants to win a title now.
Enough of these first-round losses, especially to Detroit, especially after getting swept in Detroit recently.
Before this deal, the A's playoff rotation was setting up to be: Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez, Tommy Milone/Drew Pomeranz.
Billy Beane's latest blockbuster trade
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.