The Big Josh Donaldson Trade
The A’s traded off their best player with four years of control left for Brett Lawrie and a whole lot of young talent. It’s yet another one of the A’s money-ball moves, but it’s got to disappoint A’s fans, who almost never get a chance to develop a long-term relationship with the team’s best players.
On paper, the A’s clearly got as much talent as they gave away. Josh Donaldson is a terrific player, but Brett Lawrie will definitely get better, unless he gets hurt. Franklyn Barreto was the top 16-year old out of Venezuela two years ago and has done nothing as a professional to date to tarnish his luster, doing all the things (hitting for average, showing alley power and stealing bases) you would want to see from an elite 18 year old in a short-season A league.
The two pitchers the A’s got, Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman, are B-grade prospects, but right on the verge of becoming major leaguers, meaning they could have some value for the A’s right away. Nolin, who will be 25 in 2015, has major league stuff, but has had trouble staying healthy.
Graveman will be 24 in 2015, and he looks like the kind of control pitcher who could have one big major league season and then blow out his arm. However, that one big year will probably be 2015 or 2016.
I have to think that the A’s are betting that Donaldson won’t age well and that Barreto is going to be the real deal. The A’s are also convinced that winning is lot more important to their box office than letting its fan base fall in love with individual players.
P.S. With the additions of Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson, Blue Jay pitchers are going to very excited about the coming of the 2015 season.