By Jason Wojciechowski on February 6, 2012 at 11:55 PM
First a couple of tweets:
#Athletics announce that Adrian Cardenas has been claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) February 6, 2012
Rangers sign LHP Joe Bemiel and OF-1B Conor Jackson to Minor League contracts with invites to ST— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) February 6, 2012
I'm obviously not here writing about Joe Beimel. The Cardenas news isn't surprising, in the sense that both (a) someone wanted him and (b) there was no trade market. He's been around for a while, so everyone knows:
Instead of handing Adrian Cardenas a job in Chicago, maybe we should wonder why he was available. He's a really bad infielder.— Kevin Goldstein (@Kevin_Goldstein) February 6, 2012
I mean, I didn't know. But we could pretty well suspect from the fact that Cardenas was never given a real shot at, say, the third-base job, even as Kevin Kouzmanoff struggled his way through many miserable months at the plate.
And yet, despite that, maybe he can still learn to play passable defense or maybe he can hit enough to overcome that as a utility man. There are a lot of maybes for a guy as young as Cardenas is and with the past flashes he showed scouts with his bat. Enough maybes, certainly, for a rebuilding team like the Cubs to take a shot on when all it costs them is Blake DeWitt.
As to Jackson, I'm shorting someone credit here, but I saw a tweet to the effect of "bless the Rangers for signing him so the A's couldn't." I certainly am happy that Oakland did not bring him back -- it's hard to see where he fits unless he's taking time from better players. Not just potentially-better-in-the-future players, but better-right-now players. With Bob Melvin's known man-crush on the guy, I was not alone in worrying about that being a legitimate possibility if Billy Beane had given Melvin access to Jackson.
Query whether (and I'm repeating my own tweet here) the A's floated rumors of Conor Jackson coming to Oakland when they had no interest in making such a deal so that Melvin would think there was a chance but Jackson turned them down. Is that too complicated for how front offices interact with their managers? Are there too many potential pitfalls? Probably. But I can dream about G.M.s playing The Game of [Free Agents] with their underlings.
Not much else happening in A's land today, but here's the Cliff Pennington part of the FanFest interviews.
Also, Christina Kahrl has a great look at ten position-switchers for 2012, which includes Sean Doolittle's move from first base to pitching.