Not that he is lacking appreciation, but the work general manager Billy Beane has done with the Oakland Athletics over the last two years only adds to his illustrious legacy.
Prior to the 2012 season, when the team traded Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey, it was assumed the A's were in full-blown rebuilding mode and would need time before contending in the American League West again.
Now, two years later, the A's have won back-to-back division titles and have built an impressive roster of young talent that includes Jarrod Parker, Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick, Sonny Gray and Dan Straily.
Beane has been able to find impact talent through the draft (Gray, Straily), trades (Reddick, Donaldson, Parker) and international signings (Cespedes). The A's are starting to spend a little more money than we are accustomed to, which only makes them more dangerous.
Scott Kazmir was added to take the place of Bartolo Colon. The bullpen has been given a makeover through a series of trades that brought Jim Johnson, Luke Gregerson and Drew Pomeranz into the fold.
Of course, staying at the top in the AL West is never easy. Texas is a serious threat after adding Shin-Soo Choo. Los Angeles has added two intriguing young starting pitchers and could get a healthy Albert Pujols. Even Seattle is trying to catch up by signing Robinson Cano. Houston will be in the mix eventually but is still a few years away.
Oakland's young talent is going to keep coming in 2014, as top prospect Addison Russell figures to make an impact if/when Jed Lowrie gets injured.
As impressive as Russell is, he's not the only intriguing young star to watch in Oakland's system. Let's take a look at the team's top 10 prospects heading into the season.
Note: All stats courtesy of MiLB.com unless otherwise noted. Scouting reports and rankings based on personal evaluations/opinions.