A friend of mine, a fellow A's fan, said that he'd like to see the A's trade any and every vet off the current roster and load an already fairly decent farm system with even more prospects. I thought that sounded intriguing, so rather than waste my time over on AN talking about what kind of package the Rays would have to put together to get the A's to part ways with Zooks (proposals which would undoubtedly feature a decidedly pro-Oakland slant) I figured I'd come here to this bastion of Rays dedication to hear what you guys think would be a fair proposal. This is meant for fun and to wile away the hours while I sit at home taking care of my ill son. If trade speculation isn't your thing than thanks for checking out my post and enjoy the rest of your day. For everyone else... let's chat.
I've decided to set some ground rules before I begin.
Rule #1: I will not try to sell anyone on the merits of Kurt Suzuki. I'm just going to lay out the facts.
Suzuki is heading into his age 26 season and is under team control for the next 4 years. He will make just over league minimum in 2010. According to Fangraphs he was worth 2.8 WAR (not including defense) in both 2008 and 2009. According to this metric his defense was worth .9 WAR, meaning his total WAR value in 2009 was 3.7 Kurt bats right handed and has started 268 games behind the plate over the past two seasons.
Rule #2: Do not assume that this is happening in a vacuum. If the A's were to shop Suzuki the Rays would not be the only team interested in acquiring him.
Tampa just happens to be #1 on the speed dial. Please don't waste time trying to low-ball as I'm not interested in an unfair deal on either side. I'm not going to demand that the Rays give up David Price to land Suzuki. Matter o' fact, I'm not going to insist on any one Ray's player or prospect being a part of this discussion. All I'm going to do is tell you what it is I think the A's are shopping for in return.
So now that the rules out of the way, let me tell you what I think the A's would be looking for in a deal for Suzuki.
The Oakland outfield has far more question marks than answers. But let's be realistic here folks, if the A's are trading Suzuki they're looking at improving their team in 2011 and beyond. Carl Crawford is a good player but he doesn't meet the 2011 requirement, does he?
A quality SP prospect is always appreciated, but the A's have depth in Oakland and the upper minors so any arm you offer up is going to be nice but probably not jump-up-and-down-in-joy special.
The A's hope Brett Wallace is going to be their 3B of the near future. If that doesn't work out there's no one in the system who jumps out as a Plan B.
I don't think Billy Beane was bluffing when he said he was willing to go into 2010 with Cliff Pennington as his starting SS. I'm not Beane and while I've been one of Moneypenny's longest supporters I would mind other options. That said, I absolutely positively hate Reid Brignac's bat and I don't think he'll ever hit enough in the bigs to be a starter. You don't have to agree with me on this. I'm fine with that. I just don't want anyone to waste their time by coming up with a suggestion that includes Brignac as the centerpiece.
The A's have invested heavily at 2B, with Ellis in Oakland, Adrian Cardenas in Sacramento and Jemile Weeks in Midland.
The Catching, ironically enough, could be a little thin.
The bullpen has more arms than they know what to do with.
So that's the A's depth chart in a nut shell. Now what will you give me for Kurt Suzuki?