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A’s Interested in Seth Smith?

December 26, 2011

In the offseason so many moves are dependent upon one thing happening causing another to occur, then like dominoes several moves happen until some other proverbial dam breaks causing another domino effect of moves elsewhere. The Rockies today appear to be close to signing Cody Ross which would give them more outfield depth even after signing Michael Cuddyer this winter. Should such a signing occur it’d free the Rockies to deal Seth Smith who has been on the trade block virtually all winter. A few days ago, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reported that,

“Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, expendable after the team signed Michael Cuddyer, is drawing trade interest from the Mariners, Athletics, Braves, Mets, and Rays, major-league sources said.”

The A’s interest to me is a bit puzzling, while yes given that the A’s were only at five outfielders on the 40-man roster at the time of that quote, and now are down to just four, the A’s could certainly use the services of an outfielder, it seems silly during a rebuild to trade for one who doesn’t seem to be a part of long-term plans. Smith, a solid but not exceptional and not particularly young outfielder (he just turned 29 at season’s end), projects to earn north of $3M this offseason via arbitration. In his roughly three and a half year career he has participated in 487 games for the Rockies owning a .275/.348/.485 line with a decent .360 wOBA and 113 wRC+ being worth 6.7 WAR. He has played all three outfield positions in the Majors, and has spent the most time in right, though he has been best in left. Last season in Denver he posted 1.9 WAR in 533 plate appearances, with a .284/.347/.483 slash line, aided by a generous .320 BABIP.

Smith is fine, but why go for him? The reason isn’t there and while Morosi in his article suggested the A’s need to upgrade their offense and have pitching to spare that didn’t seem to make sense either. Who would you deal to acquire Smith and why would you do that? Then it occurred to me that the Rockies don’t have the strongest of bullpens and could have interest in a reunion with Brian Fuentes or could appreciate the services of Grant Balfour. In this scenario, the move serves Oakland as both a salary dump of needless bullpen pieces for a rebuilding club while also getting a serviceable everyday left fielder for the club – a good motive for a move. It’ll be interesting to see if anything develops and if this indeed is the thinking of Billy Beane.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ken Arneson permalink
    December 26, 2011 9:40 pm

    I’d rather have Seth Smith than Brian Fuentes. I’d rather have Grant Balfour than Seth Smith. Not that any of those names really matter.

    • December 26, 2011 10:18 pm

      Yeah I am with you on those equations. I don’t really see the value of adding a guy like Smith. I understand the logic, just don’t agree with it. What is the point of trying to add any number of wins this year if you are rebuilding? What benefit is it to go 69-93 versus 66-96? The only reason I’d like to get a Smith is if it means we can protect a guy in Sacramento instead of letting him get pummeled in MLB if he is someone we see as being a piece of a future competitive team – but I am not sure if a Michael Taylor or Jermaine Mitchell even fits that mold.

  2. December 26, 2011 9:41 pm

    The possibility of not having Fuentes anymore? Lovely. If he gets traded I will call it a post Christmas miracle!

    • December 26, 2011 10:18 pm

      We still have Fuentes to thank for Geren’s removal if you ask me. If used right he is a good pitcher, he was used anything but right this past year. That all said, I won’t ever be missing him…

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