By Jason Wojciechowski on January 18, 2012 at 8:15 AM
Grant Brisbee has this at Baseball Nation asking why the A's are doing what they're doing. He notes that between the likely lineup and rotation Oakland has, they're not a weep-in-pity team. (And if we're honest with ourselves, prospects aren't being blocked, either. Sorry, Michael Taylor. I don't mean to hurt your feelings.) The draft position point, though, is a tough issue, and Brisbee points out a basic difference in apparent philosophy between the A's and Astros -- the A's apparently want to put a product on the field that will stand a fighting chance of winning a game here and there, while Houston wants the #1 overall pick. Money surely plays a big role in these decisions, and different values of present money vs. future and different ideas about how to sell the team you have to the fans you have and so on and so forth. If the A's want impact-quality 19-year-olds in their farm system, then they're building their major-league team the wrong way, but it's not clear that that's what they want.
Daniel Rathman at Baseball Prospectus doesn't know why the A's made this Seth Smith deal.
The arbitration-avoiding deals for Brandon McCarthy and Joey Devine are done, reports Alden Gonzalez. McCarthy will get four-and-a-quarter millions. Devine's figure is not in that article, but I think I saw on Twitter that he's under a million. On the 40/60/80 theory whereby a third-year arbitration salary tends to be about 80% of what you'd expect that quality of player to get on the free market, I think McCarthy's salary is reasonable given the injury risk and the possibility that last year's performance isn't what McCarthy will do going forward.
This isn't strictly an A's link, but it comes as a reaction to an A's trade (and other moves), so here's Marc Normandin's look at the Rockies' decisions about which pitchers to acquire, and why those decisions are questionable in light of what kind of pitchers you should look for to succeed at Coors.
I like Matt Kory's take on Moneyball at Over the Monster, which is typically witty and contains a photo of Montee Ball.
It's Chili Davis's birthday, and he's the A's hitting coach, so there's a profile by Alex Remington at Big League Stew. I did not realize that Davis was the very first Jamaica-born player to hit the majors.
Ex-A's pitching coach Rick Peterson is now the pitching development coordinator for the Brewers. It's a newly created job. I wonder if every team these days is doing biomechanical video analysis or if it's still a thing that Rick Peterson and maybe a handful of others are carting around with them from organization to organization.