In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser entitled “Moneyball at 20,” Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane finally weighed in on the Josh Donaldson trade from the tail end of 2015.
“In hindsight, that was certainly questionable — and I’m being kind to myself,” Beane told Slusser in his first public comments about the trade. “There were a number of reasons why, and Josh was a good player who became a great player — but when you make as many transactions as we do, some are going to be good and some are not going to be good.
“I can remember sitting around having heartburn about what we’d given up in a trade and Billy saying, ‘Focus on what we’re getting, not what we’re giving up,’” assistant general manager Farhan Zaidi said. “You can’t get burned by the trades you don’t make — but he’s never let that affect him to the detriment of the franchise.
“The way trades are received — the notion that this is a really smart trade, this is a really dumb trade — Billy’s philosophy doesn’t change from trade to trade, and he’s secure enough to stick with it,” Zaidi continued. “He’ll make trades even when they open him up to second guessing, and the more trades you make, the more chances there are to make mistakes. He’s never let that bother him.”
In exchange for Donaldson, the Athletics received Brett Lawrie, who produced just 0.7 WAR with Oakland, and three minor leaguers: Sean Nolin (who hasn’t pitched since 2015), Kendall Graveman (4.12 ERA in three major-league seasons with Oakland) and Franklin Barreto, the Athletics’ number one prospect, per MLB Pipeline.
A cycle of almost cycles? For the third time this week, a Buffalo Bisons player needed a home run to complete a cycle, this time being Jason Leblebijian in Buffalo’s 6-3 loss to Rochester. Previously, both Danny Jansen and Teoscar Hernandez needed a home run to complete the cycle in their final at-bat, although neither finished the deed.
This man is a national treasure.
"Go long!" - Joey Votto, probably. pic.twitter.com/J3whpyZ09R— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 26, 2017
And this person deserves a raise.
This Eckersley bobblehead is price-less. pic.twitter.com/QvnIgypfBW— Oakland A's ⚾️ (@Athletics) August 26, 2017
The Blue Jays won a crazy battle yesterday afternoon, beating the Minnesota Twins 10-9 despite leading by six runs heading into the sixth inning. Josh Donaldson continued his hot streak with a double, a home run and a bunt single, while Kendrys Morales broke a streak of 48 consecutive at bats without a home run.
After much speculation, Joe Biagini is set to start today for the Blue Jays, his first start since being stretched out in triple-A Buffalo. Biagini, in his last start with the Bisons, pitched seven innings and allowed two earned runs on just 86 pitches. Kyle Gibson, coming off of an eight-strikeout outing, is starting for the Twins.
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkColley.