Billy Beane, Dave Dombrowski exchange funny trade deadline texts

Billy-BeaneTwo World Series contenders from the American League got even stronger on Thursday when the Oakland A’s landed Jon Lester and the Detroit Tigers traded for David Price. The A’s and Tigers have arguably the two best starting rotations in baseball now, and both of their general managers are well aware of that.

Just before the trade deadline passed, A’s GM Billy Beane and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski had a brief, entertaining conversation about the rich getting richer.

In case you weren’t aware, Sale has a 10-1 record and a 1.88 ERA in 16 starts with the Chicago White Sox this season.

Oakland and Detroit have redefined the term “arms race” as it pertains to baseball. The Tigers have the past three Cy Young Award winners all in one starting rotation. The A’s have acquired one of the best postseason pitchers of all-time in Lester. Both teams should be a lot of fun to watch down the stretch and hopefully well into October.

H/T Hardball Talk

Jose Canseco Watches ‘Moneyball,’ Begs Billy Beane for Chance to DH

Watch out world: Jose Canseco wants to play in the big leagues again.  Apparently that’s what happens when someone like him gets their hands on the movie Moneyball.  According to his Twitter account, Canseco watched the movie for the first time on Sunday night.  In the process, he developed a man crush for Billy Beane and a desire to return to the MLB as a designated hitter.  The passion is burning so deep within Jose that he was even willing to tweet out his email address to all 397,954 followers.  Check out this hilarious string of tweets:

Come on, Billy. Give the guy a chance.  It sounds like Canseco is willing to play for next to nothing, and maybe he still has a couple of home runs left in him.  Plus, it beats having to see him flipping out on fans, getting it handed to him by a 60-year old, or flaking out on a scheduled boxing match.  Make it happen, Billy.  The A’s need this type of heartfelt inspiration from a stand-up citizen.

Billy Beane May be Interested in Cubs Job

It’s peculiar the way timing works. Moneyball the movie is finally coming out in theaters next month, eight years after the book was released and five years since the A’s were any good. The movie’s premise is completely outdated and the mystique of Billy Beane’s A’s has worn off. Maybe the rest of baseball has caught on to Oakland’s secrets. Maybe the constrictions of a limited payroll are too difficult to overcome. Whatever the reason, Oakland is a sub-par ballclub and Billy Beane may be ready for another challenge.

On Thursday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Beane might consider an offer to take the Cubs GM job. The A’s want to move into a new stadium but the process has stalled, making a potential sale of the club a possibility.

Additionally, current team owner Lew Wolff says he will not stand in Beane’s way if he wants to pursue another job. He understands that Beane might be interested in a new challenge and a bigger market. Whether it’s Chicago, Los Angeles, or elsewhere, the appeal of managing a larger payroll may be enough to convince Beane to finally leave Oakland.

Why Would the A’s Acquire Matt Holliday?

The answer to that question should be pretty self-explanatory: the guy’s a damn good player. Matt Holliday’s an All-Star, an MVP candidate. He’s going to help any lineup in which he’s hitting. He’s going to play good defense in left field and even steal you a good amount of bases. And for his extraordinary skills, he’s going to be paid a boatload of money after the season when he becomes a free agent. So if that’s the case, then why the heck would the Oakland A’s want a piece of him? I think there are three reasons why the A’s feel it was worth their while to trade for Matt Holliday.

First of all, as previously outlined, Holliday’s an exceptionally talented player. Perhaps the A’s feel that adding Holliday’s bat will allow them to compete for the AL West crown, especially if the Angels fail to retain Mark Teixiera. Secondly, the A’s dismantled their team last year and traded away their top players despite having a good record at the time of the deals. Maybe the A’s wanted to make a move that would renew fan interest and help the fans regain confidence in the club. Lastly, maybe the A’s want to see how good they are with Holliday in the lineup. If they’re not as good as hoped, then Beane will have a strong bargaining chip at the trade deadline — someone for whom he feels he can get as much in return as he initially gave up (or close to it). That scenario is entirely possible.

Or maybe just maybe getting Holliday out of Coors will make both his numbers and free agent demand drop off. Maybe Billy Beane just wants to cost agent Scott Boras and his client major bucks. Oh yeah, and I think this is a great move for the Rox. Get some quality players (Greg Smith, Huston Street, Carlos Gonzalez) in return for a guy you know you won’t be retaining after the year. This is a deal that should benefit both sides.

In Billy Beane, the A’s Should Trust

I learned my lesson (for the 82nd time) this year, that you can never underestimate Billy Beane. After he traded away Dan Haren and Nick Swisher leading into the season, I said the A’s had conceded 2008. They’re happily in 2nd place in the AL West, well over .500. What the **** do I know. Anyway, I think the Rich Harden trade definitely was one worth making for the Cubs, and was probably smart on the A’s part as well.

At first glance, the A’s got completely ripped off. Which probably means Beane got a steal. Sure, Beane was fleeced on the Tim Hudson deal after Dan Meyer decided to suck upon being dealt to Oakland, but there’s no doubting Beane’s track record — he’s awesome. Beane’s already received at least equal value in both the Haren and Swisher deals, and most of the prospects haven’t even come close to blossoming yet. So let’s break this trade down on both ends.

For the Cubs, they’re getting an ace who’s capable of pitching seven pretty unhittable innings in a ballgame. Rich Harden is one of the harder-throwing starters in the game, also possessing a devastating change up that he mixes in frequently. The dude needs a milk IV pumping into his bones not to mention a bubble to sleep in so he can be healthy, but he’s dominant when he’s out there, however infrequently it may be. The Cubs are essentially getting Mark Prior once again, and everyone knows how frustrating that can be. They’re rolling the dice and taking a gamble that can have a huge reward, and one that probably makes them the favorite at the sportsbook. If it doesn’t pay off, they’re not going to be hurt too much by losing the players they traded away. If it does pay off, they could be looking at winning a World Series. It was definitely a gamble worth taking.

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Billy Beane Taking His Genius to Soccer?

I doubted Billy Beane back in January after he traded Haren and Swisher saying the A’s had conceded the season. I learned my lesson. So when I read that Beane has become an avid soccer fan, which apparently has been ongoing for a few years, I became pretty concerned that he might lose his focus. And now SportsbyBrooks floats the idea that Beane could one day leave the A’s to run the San Jose Earthquakes or something. The idea makes sense since Lew Wolff owns both teams and wants to see the Quakes succeed. And as you could imagine, Beane is already bringing his Moneyball philosophies to MLS.

So is it possible that Beane directs his concentration fully on the Quakes? Is it possible that he’s already been spending a lot of time doing soccer anyway and we just don’t know it? One piece of evidence is from Tracy Ringolsby who takes assistant GM David Forst turning down interviews as a sign. I’m not so sure that’s much of an indication given what Beane taught his previous assistants — only take a job when you’re ready to succeed at it. Plus, Forst may have seen what happened with DePodesta and realized he has a good thing going. And like I speculated, we don’t know how Beane spends his time anyway. But there was a day when Beane was going to take the Red Sox job, so you know new projects entice him. I’ll just hope for the Angels’ sake that he’s shifting his focuses.

The Oakland A’s Have Conceded 2008

Which makes me quite pleased as an Angels fan. As I told my buddy Alan today, this could be the year they finish at the bottom of the division. It’s looking like they’ll be behind Texas in the standings — how crazy is that? The A’s have broken off two of their most valuable parts by trading Dan Haren and Nick Swisher. They got five prospects in return for Haren (trading him at his peak value), and three back for Swisher (at a time when power hitters are few and far between). The A’s won’t have many guys on their ’08 roster who are beyond their arbitration years. Matter of fact, they’re now closer to Florida Marlins status than they are Minnesota Twins — if you want to compare small market teams.

So what does this mean? Much as it did a few years ago when Beane dealt Mulder and Hudson in the same off-season, the A’s are clearly rebuilding. They’re trying to stack their farm system with young guys who can all come up at the same time, making Oakland a competitive team in ’09, ’10, and ’11. It’s a harsh reality for fans to deal with, and a very fine line to walk. One of the major battles the A’s are facing is timing. See, the A’s can accurately project a player to develop into a superstar but it could go to waste. What I mean is that they don’t just need stars, they need the players to become stars immediately — before they’re eligible to make big money in arbitration and free agency. As if it’s not challenging to build a team as is, the A’s have to hope their low-salary, pre-free agency players develop early and all within the same two year span. If not, they’re screwed, and they’ll have to keep breaking off pieces until their players all develop simultaneously. What a crappy way to have to build a team.