Saying that the Oakland A's "rocked" the trade deadline may be a bit of an exaggeration.
Actually, it would probably be considered one of the greatest sales jobs of the year if I could convince you that were the case, but the truth is that the A's made exactly the right decisions given the scenarios they were presented with.
Then again, the other option for this particular A's commentary would have been to argue that they "blew" the trade deadline, an argument that I can't honestly argue with conviction.
None of the big names were moved.
The rumors for Josh Willingham, Conor Jackson, Coco Crisp, Grant Balfour, Rich Harden and Andrew Bailey all amounted to nothing. Each player will be wearing an A's uniform for the remainder of the season unless an unexpected waiver move is made.
There is a faction of the fanbase that would have liked to see a couple of the minor league prospects get an extended look at big league playing time the remainder of the season. I am part of that group, actually.
The way the offense has erupted since the All-Star break, though, it is hard to make a case for trading our top run producer, Josh Willingham, or perhaps the most dynamic player in the lineup, Coco Crisp.
As much as I personally enjoy watching Rich Harden pitch, I probably would have pulled the trigger on the deal that would have sent him to Boston for Lars Anderson, though.
The original deal had Harden being dealt for Anderson and a player-to-be-named-later (PTBNL). The deal apparently fell apart when the Red Sox reviewed Harden's medical records and decided to pull back the PTBNL.
It's understandable why the A's would walk away from the table when the Red Sox tried to reduce their offer at the last minute. I still would have liked to see Anderson in an Athletics uniform, though.
Harden enjoys playing in Oakland and working with pitching coach Ron Romanick, leaving the door open to the A's re-signing him in the offseason while still benefiting from a trade now.
Aside from that move, though, the A's were still able to add at a position of need without hurting their roster.
In the end, the non-moves may be the tipping point on the scale that decides whether they "rocked" or "blew" the trade deadline in 2011.