Being an A’s fan has to be one of the worst feelings in the world. Your team refuses to spend money on players and you can’t get anyone to put you in a stadium that was actually made for baseball. When your team actually does “go for it” they make a trade for two guys who were with the squad for about five minutes, led them to nothing and costed them a ton.
Back in 2014 the A’s traded Yoenis Cespedes for Jonny Gomes and John Lester. Lester was the prize of the trade and the starter who was supposed to lead the A’s to playoff victory. Instead, he threw one of the worst games of his playoff career while the Royals stole about 83 bases and won the game. Boston turned Cespedes into Rick Porcello, the same Porcello who just won the Cy Young award last season.
The bigger blunder was by far the Jeff Samardzija trade. Accompanied by Jason Hammel, Samardzija was shipped to Oakland as a rental for top picks Addison Russell and Billy McKinney. While McKinney has stalled in AA, Russell is one of the premier shortstops in the game and just won a World Series. The Cubs also received Dan Straily in that deal who they dealt in 2015 to acquire Dexter Fowler, who was the fuel to a devastating Cubs lineup for the last two seasons.
For mortgaging the future the A’s received one game in the playoffs, which they lost, and Marcus Semien, who came from the White Sox in a deal for Samardzija. Lester went to free agency, signed with the Cubs, and won a World Series. There seems to be a theme here. Three players on the Cubs roster last season were made possible through the moves that the A’s made. Maybe Theo should send some sort of fruit basket to Billy Beane, thanking him for the ring.