I was astonished to see that the Oakland A’s promoted Billy Beane from General Manager to Executive Vice-President of Baseball Operations.
I believe the A’s should have fired him instead.
In just over a year, Beane has transformed the A’s from one of the best teams in the MLB to one of the worst. He did so with not one, but two dubious trades.
On July 31, 2014, the A’s had the best record in MLB at 66-41. That day Beane traded A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Jon Lester. The A’s offense went into the tank and went 22-33 for the remainder of the season. The Los Angeles Angels won the AL West by 10 games over the A’s who were lucky to head off a late charge by the Seattle Mariners to clinch the second AL Wild Card spot. The A’s then somehow blew a 7-3 lead in the 8th with Lester on the mound against the Kansas City Royals in the AL Wild Card game. The A’s went home while the Royals got to Game 7 of the World Series. As for Cespedes, he will be playing in the NLDS for the NL East champion New York Mets while Lester could pitch in the NLDS if the Cubs win the NL Wild Card game tomorrow night against the Pirates.
Beane would dramatically change the character of the A’s team for the 2015 season. But his most significant trade took place on November 28, 2014 when he traded All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays for third baseman Brett Lawrie and three minor leaguers. Evidently, Beane All Donaldson has done since joining the Blue Jays is hit .297 with 41 home runs and lead the league in RBI (123) and runs scored (122). Oh, and did I mention that Donaldson led the Jays to their first post-season appearance in 22 years? He is heavily favored to win the AL MVP. Meanwhile, Lawrie put up so-so numbers (.260, 16 HR & 60 RBI) as the A’s had the worst record in the AL in 2015.
So why did Beane trade Donaldson? Evidently, they had a row during last season over time off. Donaldson asked A’s manager Bob Melvin for a couple of days off. Melvin granted his wish, but Beane intervened. Beane denies this happened, but why trade an All-Star third baseman for unproven quantity unless you want him out of your sight?
Maybe Billy Beane is untouchable because Brad Pitt played him in a movie. But Beane has made two of the worst trades in MLB history which has rendered his team the laughingstock of the American League. Instead of being held accountable, Beane has been promoted. Nothing like rewarding mediocrity.
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