The Athletics were a playoff team just a couple of years ago, but like they always do, they traded away their best players for prospects to avoid spending any money. It’s an interesting strategy, but it’s one clubs like Oakland often use because they are allergic to paying their players. I feel bad for fans of the team; they deserve better because there is almost no chance for a general manager to build a championship roster with the way they run their organization.
The Braves have been the benefactor of not one but two blockbuster trades with the A’s over the last two offseasons. Last year, they acquired Matt Olson, and a month ago, they traded for Sean Murphy. Those two trades, along with several graduations, have depleted Atlanta’s farm system, but it hasn’t exactly left Oakland with an embarrassment of riches, in terms of prospects. Here’s where the players the Braves traded away currently rank in the A’s farm system, according to Baseball America and MLB.com.
#2 Kyle Muller (Baseball America)
#10 Royber Salinas (Baseball America)
#11 Freddy Tarnok (MLB.com)
#16 Ryan Cusick (MLB.com)
#25 Joey Estes (MLB.com)
Shea Langeliers (Graduated)
Cristian Pache (Graduated)
I think this tells you all you need to know about the A’s organization. Not only have they gutted their major-league roster that was once a playoff team, but they did a dreadful job of it.
Muller was the top-ranked prospect in the Braves’ system before he was traded, but Atlanta had arguably the worst farm system in baseball. Nothing against him; he’s a fine player, but there’s no way he should be the second-ranked prospect in a system that has traded away several franchise players over the last couple of seasons. The rest of the pitchers ranked among their top 30 prospects that they acquired from the Braves have some upside, but it wouldn’t shock me if none of them turned into anything more than average major leaguers.
The A’s essentially traded away two years of Matt Olson and three years of Sean Murphy for Shea Langeliers — who I expect to be a very good major-league catcher — and a bunch of lottery tickets. Cristian Pache could eventually turn into something, but he’s been abysmal so far in the majors. I know this is how the A’s have to operate, but seeing this makes me sick for the fans of Oakland. This organization is hopeless.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire