By Jason Wojciechowski on January 19, 2012 at 6:55 PM
The #Athletics are shopping 1B Brandon Allen, says a BB source. No room for him with all the other young bats they've added.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 19, 2012
Brandon Allen is on the block, which doesn't necessarily mean that the A's don't believe in him (or don't believe in him relative to Daric Barton and Chris Carter). Maybe they believe he's exactly as good as Carter and/or Barton, but that he has more trade value. Or maybe they even believe he's slightly better than those two, but his trade value outstrips his likely actual value, and that more time in the bigs would expose that actual value and reduce his trade value. Or maybe, cycling back around, they really do believe that Barton and Carter are better.
They could also just be asking around to see what they can get for him and will find that his trade value isn't high enough to be to their liking. We'll have to see it play out, but it's hard to tell solely from the fact that Allen is the one rumored to be on the block what this means about how the A's feel about him.
A trade would, obviously, clear the decks a bit, let Barton and Carter get full-time at-bats, let Kila be at AAA in case Barton dives into another shallow swimming pool, and just generally realign their assets in a more balanced way.
My Polish brother Joe Pawlikowski has a look at Allen for River Ave Blues. For some reason, he does not link to this video. Joe is hopeful that, were the Yankees to acquire him, hitting coach Kevin Long might be able to work with him on his difficulties hitting the inside stuff, but notes that other teams would probably be willing to pay more than the Yankees for his upside as a regular, while New York would be attempting to acquire a platoon DH.
Tim Williams at Pirates Prospects makes a scary comparison of Allen to Jeff Clement.
Is this related to the signing of Jonny Gomes? I don't know. As I said after the Seth Smith trade, though, I think we can separate the three-man 1B/DH battle from the fight of youngs (Cowgill, Reddick, Taylor, Mitchell-ish) vs. olds (Crisp, Smith, Gomes) in the outfield. The person hurt by a Gomes signing is presumably going to be Cowgill, who seems most likely to have been the fourth outfielder with a Reddick-Crisp-Smith starting group. Trading Allen feels like more of a way to alleviate a different logjam.
There is, once again, however, the question of the 40-man roster, and I would once again suggest that Adrian Cardenas could be the one to go if the A's were to hang on to Allen. Adam Rosales might be underwhelming, but Cardenas has put up minor-league power numbers that look like Rosales's major-league ones. One does not simply .418 SLG into Mordor.
Anyway, Gomes is by all accounts a poor outfielder, and his overall hitting line won't blow you away, but he's murdered lefties to the tune of a 132 wRC+ over the course of his career (904 PAs over basically seven seasons), so if Billy Beane was lying and the A's really do want a platoon partner for Seth Smith, well, here you are. Giving Beane the benefit of the doubt, which, why not, because look at the name of the blog, it's likely that he saw Reddick in one corner and Smith in the other and realized that when you do want to sit those two, even though you're not in a platoon situation, you may as well do it in optimal ways by benching them against the proverbial tough lefties, letting a masher from the other side take over for the day. (Though I wrote it before the question came in, this paragraph can serve as an answer to Todd, who asked in a comment to the last link roundup whether Beane wasn't truthful about Smith.)
Oh yeah, and Gomes is from Petaluma.
The Daily Dish's post on Gomes includes a mohawk. Oy.
Bullpen Banter updated their A's Top 15 to reflect the trades they've made since the last ranking. Jeff Reese and Al Skorupa disagree on Brad Peacock and Michael Choice, and of course down the list the names fly all over the place. Both put Parker-Cole as the top two, though.
Former Athletic Orlando Cabrera has decided to retire. He finishes his career having played for nine teams, cracking the 2000-hit barrier and stacking up about 20 WARP. He's not a Hall of Famer, and not even a Hall of Very Gooder, but he played almost 2000 games in his career, earned over $50 million in salary, and probably has a passel of great stories to tell his grandkids.
Tyler Ladendorf, the infielder the A's acquired from the Twins for Cabrera, played most of last year at AA as a 23-year-old and hit .224/.306/.317, so, yeah, he's not going anywhere.
Tyson Ross's brother Joe is Marc Hulet's #9 Padres prospect at FanGraphs.
Batting Stance Guy has some ideas for new A's names after the move to San Jose. I favor "Nerds."
Me elsewhere: I wrote about Jack Cust's potential to form a historic duo with Carlos Lee at The Platoon Advantage. And do you read about TV? I blog a little about that, too. Here's me on the sorta new Syfy show "Lost Girl."