Billy Beane: What the Heck Is He Thinking?

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IJanuary 26, 2010

PHOENIX - JUNE 14:  Miguel Tejada #10 of the Houston Astros bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on June 14, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.   The Astros defeated the Diamondbacks 8-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I'm really not sure what general manager Billy Beane has planned for the Oakland A's for the 2010 season.  So far, this offseason has been a total failure for the A's, except for one signing.

The first mistake Beane made was keeping Bob Geren as manager. I've written numerous articles detailing my disdain for the pathetic Geren. So, there's no need for me to go into anymore detail than that.

Beane's second mistake may be the worst yet. The signing of Coco Crisp. Who in their right mind would give Crisp a one-year deal for $5.25 million? Crisp is terrible offensively, he doesn't have any power, and he doesn't even hit for a high average.

With the signing and the trade of Scott Hairston back to San Diego, it means that Rajai Davis moves over to left field. So, the starting outfield for the A's is Davis, Crisp, and Ryan Sweeney.

Offensively, that means the A's have the worst outfield in all of baseball. Defensively, Crisp and Davis have the speed, and Sweeney has the outstanding arm, but that doesn't make up for how offensively inept that outfield is going to be.

Out of the three, Sweeney has the best chance to produce, especially if he learns to hit for power instead of just spraying the ball to all fields. Davis is the best option in terms of causing havoc on the base paths, and Crisp is worthless.

Just recently, Beane made another decision: This time, he signed oft-injured Ben Sheets to a one-year, $10 million contract. Prior to that, Beane also brought back Justin Duchscherer with a one-year contract.

Both those moves do solidify a strong, young starting rotation. The bullpen for the A's should also be stronger than it was last year especially if Sheets and Duchscherer can stay healthy.

Still, the A's are going to struggle offensively. What's interesting, though, is that Beane could have brought back Miguel Tejada for a year instead. Tejada went back to the Baltimore Orioles, recently signing a one-year, $6 million contract.

With the money given to Sheets and the money potentially going to a Johnny Damon deal, I'm pretty sure that the A's could have come up with the ability to pay Tejada at least $6 million for one year.

Even with the decline in power production and defense, he still is a way better option than Cliff Pennington. What makes Tejada a good fit for the A's is, even though he's not the 30 home run hitter that he once was, he can still find the gaps. He led the National League in doubles last year with 46, still hit .313, and drove in 86 runs.

I'd much rather the A's have Sheets and Tejada than Crisp, Sheets, and possibly Damon. Well here's to another last-place finish for the A's.

Even the trade of Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham for Kevin Kouzmanoff is questionable at best.  Kouzmanoff is not a patient hitter—while driving in 88 runs last year, he struck out 106 times while walking only 27.

My prediction is that Michael Taylor, the outfielder that the A's received from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Brett Wallace trade, will be joining the A's roster before the All-Star break.

The other hope for the A's is that Travis Buck has a great spring and forces Crisp out of the lineup.