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Oakland A's: Billy Beane Strikes Again

Ron TepperCorrespondent IIJuly 24, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 12: U.S. Futures All-Star Brett Wallace of the St. Louis Cardinals plays third base during the 2009 XM All-Star Futures Game at Busch Stadium on July 12, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

There must be a method to his madness.

If General Managers could choose their poster boy for dealing high priced, soon to be Free Agents for top prospects, Beane's face would be on the cover

When most "experts" thought that Beane would hold back making trades while letting players whose contracts expire at the end of the year walk giving the team Supplemental picks in next years draft, Beane did one better.

He traded for a player that they wouldn't even have a shot at selecting.

Today Matt Holliday was traded to the St Louis Cardinals in exchange for three minor league prospects.

Lets face it, Holliday was not having a productive year in Oakland. Not surprising for a player who achieved All Star status while playing in the dry air of Colorado versus the damp air in Oakland.

His contract was about to expire and his salary was so high that the A's knew they would never sign him to a long term deal.

Believe me this player has talent galore, but frankly Oakland was a dead end.

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The A's recieved a package too good to be believed. Don't go crazy over statistics here. Statistics are a tool to gauge the progress of a players production and does not reflect potential so put your calculators away number freaks.

The prize the A's recieved was third baseman Brett Wallace. Not only was he considered untouchable by many, he also filled a position of need for upcoming years.

Wallace was playing at the AAA level this year at the age of 23 and is more than holding his own. He has very good power (not reflected in his stats this year) and is hitting near .300.

His potential ranks up there with a young Eric Chavez. He was a high first round pick out of Arizona State (a college which is a hotbead for major league talent over the years) and played for team USA.

He could use more work on defense and being patient at the plate but those things will come in time.

It's incredible St. Louis would give him up but Beane usually comes out ahead on almost all trades with his astute observations and attention to detail.

Clayton Mortensen is a 24-year-old pitcher who was in the starting rotation also in AAA. Like Wallace, he too was a first round pick by St Louis after a steller career at Gonzaga.

With a few flaws corrected he could very well be Oakland's fifth starter next season. With the erratic performances of Gio Gonzalez and Sean Gallagher he will be recieved with open arms.

Shane Peterson is playing in AA Ball as a starting Outfielder after being a second round pick by St Louis out of Long Beach State. He is only 21 and one of the younger players at that level and his statistics reflect that despite hitting .284.

Like Wallace, he is a free swinger but without Wallace's power so that is something he will have to work on but the potential is there.

This is an exciting deal. Holliday served no purpose for the A's who are not contenders this year and would be free to walk. To get a return like this is hard to believe.

Bravo.

Only Beane could have gotten this deal done. Oakland will be players in 2010.

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