Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics: Should Billy Beane Deal Yoenis Cespedes?

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Seattle Mariners at O.co Coliseum on September 28, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer IOctober 27, 2012

Oakland Atheltics General Manager Billy Beane got into the act of big trades before the World Series even got started. He stepped into the middle of the Miami Marlins trying to dump Heath Bell and walked away with Chris Young in exchange for virtually nothing.

Re-energized by the Division Title and possibly by Moneyball being on BlueRay, Billy Beane is looking to make the defending American League West Champions even better in 2013.

The Young trade has given the A's a surplus of talented outfielders. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Billy Beane has no intention of trading Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp, Seth Smith, Yoenis Cespedes or Young.

But of course he will deal one of them, because there are too many teams that could use a solid outfielder and Beane is too clever to say something like "Man, I got to get rid of at least one of these guys. Let's hear some offers."

Coco Crisp seems like the most likely player to be moved due to his contract. But according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Billy Beane seems to want Crisp in Oakland. "Everybody knows how important this guy is to this team," Beane said of Crisp, adding he "is a personal favorite of mine."

Reddick or Smith could be used in a trade for either bullpen depth of a starting infielder.

But why not Cespedes? If the objective of a trade is to get the maximum value in return, Cespedes would be the most attractive trade chip.

The Cuban defector, who had a star rookie year in Oakland, will be 27 years old next season. He is a right-handed slugger with some speed and a flair for the dramatic.

He his .292 with an OPS of .861, 23 homers and 82 RBI in 129 games his rookie year. He also stole 16 bags.

Most contenders would covet a bat like that, especially one that will be under contract for the next three seasons at a total of $28 million.

But there are some red flags. He has some wrist issues as well as hand and hamstring problems and is not a very good defensive center fielder.

That being said, his trade value is at its peak right now. And last year Beane showed the advantage of making a potentially risky trade of a young player.

In 2011, the A's looked like they were building around young pitchers like Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey and Trevor Cahill. Bailey was 27, Gonzalez was 25 and Cahill was only 23. It looked like a solid pitching foundation.

Beane instead traded all three when teams were willing to give up more for them. In the process he acquired Ryan Cook, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris, Jarrod Parker and Josh Reddick, among other minor leaguers.

The A's would have depth in the outfield and might pick up the infielder and reliever to give them the team that would repeat as Division Champions for Cespedes.

He might never be worth more than he is now. It would be worth hearing at least what the offers are.

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