10 Reasons the Oakland A's Didn't Need to Make a Big Deadline Splash
The Oakland Athletics were surprisingly quiet at the trade deadline this year, but the organization made the right choice to stand pat—now they'll avoid several costly pitfalls.
Sure, the A's traded for George Kottaras and shipped Kurt Suzuki to the Washington Nationals.
Neither move was a big splash.
Oakland didn't throw in the towel and sell off any veterans. They didn't acquire any big names for a late-season push.
Here are 10 reasons why the A's were right to skip out on major deadline deals.
One Player Isn't Going to Fill the Seats
Even if the Oakland Athletics landed Hanley Ramirez, 10,000 more fans aren't going to magically fill the seats.
It's unfortunate, but there just aren't enough fans.
One guy won't change that.
From an organizational standpoint looking at attendance numbers, adding a big name player in hopes of garnering attention just isn't worth it.
Second Wild Card Equals Less Sellers and Less Talent
With the addition of a second wild-card spot, there are five American League teams in contention. Another six are still on the bubble.
That's 11 teams in the hunt for two spots.
Added competition equates to more teams believing they have a shot at the postseason. Thus, they become less inclined to sell.
With less sellers, the talent available is reduced.
Take third base for example. Hanley Ramirez was the best player available at this position. Numerous teams attempted to land Ramirez. After he was dealt, the next best available player was Chase Headley.
More teams were in on the one blockbuster player. After he was dealt, the options are much less attractive.
The Price Wasn't Right
Taking the last slide into consideration, a second wild-card spot puts heavier competition on superstar free agents.
With diminished goods on the market, buyers will have to pay more to get their guy.
That means for inferior talent too.
The Oakland Athletics surely would have to overpay for a major trade. The Miami Marlins were open to paying half of Hanley Ramirez' contract in exchange for two minor-league players, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
Still, the A's rejected a trade.
Now, they'll keep the prospects in the minors in place and the young talent on the Major League roster remains in green and gold.
Landing Ramirez could have taken prospects such as Dan Straily and Grant Green—key pieces to Oakland's future.
Temporary Players Are More Harmful to the Future
Hypothetically, the Oakland Athletics give up two up-and-coming prospects for a big name free agent.
In the most likely scenario, the superstar doesn't want to be in Oakland.
If he doesn't sign a mega-deal elsewhere in the offseason, he surely sandbags and is traded by next year's deadline.
In the end, the A's borrowed a player—who may not even get them into the postseason—for only two months.
The reward isn't worth the risk.
Take Matt Holliday for example. The A's thought they had the right pieces in place, but just needed one more superstar.
Holliday was supposed to be that guy.
The A's gave up Huston Street and Carlos Gonzalez (among others) to land him. Holliday lasted a half a season and was awful before being traded to St. Louis.
Ever since, he's made Cardinals fans forget about Albert Pujols.
Meanwhile, Street is an All-Star closer and Carlos Gonzalez is one of the best young outfielders in the game.
The A's Can't Afford It
The Oakland Athletics have the second lowest payroll in Major League Baseball.
Annually, they resort to "Moneyball" tactics of looking for cheap deals, rookies who will outproduce expectations and crafty veterans who have been left for dead by the rest of the league.
Oh, and they also have terrible attendance and one of the worst stadiums.
There's a reason the A's don't spend money—it's because they don't have a lot of it.
Taking on a huge salary is too dangerous.
No Deals Signals Confidence
Typically, a trade deadline is heartbreaking for an Oakland Athletics fan. As it approaches, the fear of who will go next increases with each passing day.
No deals are great for fans. No longer do they need to worry about their favorite player heading to the postseason in someone else's colors.
To the players, no moves is even stronger of a signal of confidence.
It tells the team the organization believes in them.
Think of it as your boss telling you s/he believes in you and that your work is impressing management so much s/he doesn't feel it would be necessary to add employees or get rid of your peers.
It's a good feeling.
Consistency Is Key
Bringing in a new presence in the locker room threatens to alter the chemistry of a team.
With additions come everything from lineup changes to number swaps.
Trading for talent can be hard on the current roster.
Consider this: If the Oakland Athletics brought in a huge bat, would he hit fourth? If so, where would Yoenis Cespedes hit? One guy can drastically modify a lineup and morale.
On the other hand, if a player who is loved by his teammates and producing is sent to a contender, it tells the rest of the squad 2012 is in the books.
The A's have come this far with this team. They're outperforming preseason predictions. Why fix what isn't broken?
The A's Are First for a Wild-Card Spot
If the season ended today, the Oakland Athletics would be in a one-game playoff with the Baltimore Orioles.
In fact, the A's are in first in wild-card standings.
As far as selling, Oakland fans let out a collective sigh once the deadline passed.
Certainly, the team could have been buyers. But there is no one in the Wild Card to jump. They're getting the job done with the guys they already have.
The Current Team Is Good
This one is so easy, it might actually be overlooked.
The Oakland Athletics didn't need to make a big splash at the trade deadline because—believe it or not—they've already got a good team.
At 60-51, the A's are nine games above .500 and only five games behind the AL West leaders, the Texas Rangers.
They also just took two out of three from the Los Angeles Angels.
The team has heart.
In 2012 alone, the A's have 29 come-from-behind wins. They also lead the league in walk-offs with 13.
Josh Reddick is hitting home runs. Coco Crisp is stealing bases. Chris Carter is finally finding his way at the plate. Brandon Moss and Brandon Hicks have filled in nicely and Jonny Gomes has been an incredible free agent addition.
This team is talented.
The A's Are Staying the Course on Their Long-Term Goals
Pulling off a shocking, blockbuster trade at the deadline would have been a waste for the Oakland Athletics' long-term plans.
The team is built for the future.
The fact that they are winning now is fantastic. It's an unexpected bonus.
Obviously, they're a much better team than many expected. Still, they haven't even reached their full potential yet and likely won't for a few years.
Trading away hot prospects like Dan Straily or major league-ready youth such as Tom Milone sets the A's back at least a year or two.
For a big push, Oakland would have to go all in.
It's not worth it.
While the team is capable, it's still going to be very difficult to knock off the powerhouse teams come October.
And if the A's lose in the first round of playoffs, can't re-sign the big ticket trade-turned-free agent player and are two or three prospects lighter, it would be devastating to their chances in 2013 and 2014.
By not making a move, the A's remain realistic.
Winning now is awesome. The team legitimately has a chance.
But to overpay for a superstar who may or may not produce is not a gamble a small-market team like Oakland can afford to take.