The Oakland A’s were very active during this year’s winter meetings. However, many are not sure if those trades will actually benefit the Oakland A’s for 2015. The Athletics traded away three of their strongest players – Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, and Jeff Samardzija. All of these players were All-Stars in 2014 and their presence will surely be missed next season. So, who was acquired to replace these players?
Donaldson was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for third baseman Brett Lawrie, two mediocre pitchers, and a top-tier minor league shortstop. Ultimately, it is almost impossible to find an equal replacement for Donaldson. He had a certain spark that burned within him that is hard to find in an everyday player. However, Lawrie is not an awful replacement.
Lawrie is only 25-years-old and has an MLB career batting average of .265. Even though he was injured for about half of the 2014 season, he still hit 12 homers which is his single season best. As long as Lawrie can stay healthy, he will be a quality third baseman with a strong bat for the Oakland A’s in 2015.
After Donaldson, Moss was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Double-A prospect Joe Wendle. This trade is the most disappointing trade so far this offseason. Even though Moss had his ups and downs throughout the 2014 season, he was one of the Oakland A’s power bats in the lineup and was a very versatile field player. Additionally, Moss has already undergone hip surgery this offseason, which will allow him to play to his fullest potential in 2015. Even though the Oakland A’s boost their prospect pool with this trade, it is highly upsetting that the Athletics only got a prospect for a player who contributed so much last season.
The last major trade involved Samardzija. When A’s fans heard that Samardzija was traded to the White Sox, many were hoping it was for All-Star shortstop Alexei Ramirez. But this All-Star pitcher who only spent half of the 2014 season with the Oakland A’s was traded to the Chicago White Sox for SS Marcus Semien and a pitcher, catcher, and a prospect third baseman.
Unfortunately, Semien is relatively unknown and has yet to play a full season in the MLB. Even though scouts say he is an average defenseman and has the potential to be a strong batter, he has yet to prove this on the major league level. The Oakland A’s say that Semien will have the opportunity to win the everyday shortstop position, but the Athletics are probably also keeping their options open.
By trading away three of their star players, the Oakland A’s also saved a lot of money. Each of these players were arbitration eligible and were predicted to rake in a lot of money for 2015. Perhaps the A’s can use this saved money to strengthen the middle infield, gain another power bat, or acquire a stronger left fielder.
Overall, the trades that the Oakland A’s have made so far this offseason have been overwhelming disappointing. Most of the trades they made seem to benefit the Oakland A’s for the 2016 season, rather than for 2015. General Manager Billy Beane says that they are going to continue to be active throughout the offseason, so many are hoping that the A’s will make some more moves that will help the 2015 team.
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