When Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane made the trade for John Lester I thought it
was a gutsy move that would pay dividends in the postseason. At the time the A’s were far
and away the best team in baseball and adding a big time money pitcher like Lester seemed
like a good idea. Clearly I underestimated the importance of chemistry on this team and the
presence of Yoenis Cespedes in the middle of their lineup.
Since the trade the A’s are 8-10 and now trail the Los Angeles Angels by a 1/2 game in the AL
West. I don’t typically hit the panic button during a pennant chase (Especially with 38 games
left), I don’t wish anything bad on the Athletics, and I hate to admit when I’m wrong, but I got
a feeling this team will not make the playoffs this year.
It has nothing to do with John Lester’s performance. Since coming over from Boston
he’s been as good as advertised. It has nothing to do with Billy Beane pulling the trigger on
the trade. It was refreshing to see Mr. “Moneyball” loosen up the purse strings, double down,
and go for broke. He truly believed the A’s could win the World Series THIS YEAR and made
a move he thought shifted the odds in his favor. As a Vegas guy I have to applaud it.
It’s become trendy to play the blame game, but sometimes things just don’t work out the way
you anticipated. I don’t think anyone made a mistake with this trade, it just hasn’t resulted
in success for the A’s thus far. That being said the stakes are high in the race to win a
World Series title and someone has to be held accountable. More likely than not the Lester/
Cespedes trade will go down in history as the deadline move that backfired.
The A’s won’t make the playoffs because they haven’t been able to adjust to playing
without their best offensive player. The subtraction was greater than the addition. The team
started going in the wrong direction and they have no idea how to stop the free fall. I know
Mr. Beane had high hopes for this season, but I don’t think the A’s can reinvent themselves
quickly enough to hold off the Tigers, Royals, and Mariners. He’ll have to live with the
consequences. Hope it doesn’t cost him his job.