Even though the A's were left out of the trade, they are the top beneficiary of the trade between the Marlins and Dodgers.
The Marlins are giving up on the 2012 season and slashing their payroll to clear money for next year. Hanley Ramirez has a price tag of about $7 million left this year followed by $15.5 million and $16 million in 2013 and 2014.
For the A's, Ramirez would be, by far, their highest-paid player, making double the money of the A's current top-paid player Coco Crisp who is earning $7 million for this whole season while that amount is how much Ramirez has left on this season.
The A's do need to pay out more money for stars, but I don't think that the tight-budget franchise should be paying $15 million to a guy who is batting a sluggish .246 with only 14 home runs. The A's have gotten more power from Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes this year at a much smaller price.
If the A's were to absorb that contract, that would mean two things.
First, the A's would have to trade some of their young talented pitchers to Miami. With the way guys like Travis Blackley, Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone are pitching compared to how Ramirez is hitting, the A's could have been weakened by a trade.
Second, that price tag on Ramirez would have cost the A's more players down the road far after the trade. This winter when contracts expire, the A's will need every penny to maintain the core they have, and $15.5 million just for one player would cost them a few other players.
I think the A's should make a trade to improve the left side of the infield, but at the right price and for the right player. Hanley Ramirez is neither of those.