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Swisher Traded To White Sox
2008-01-03 11:59
by Ken Arneson

When I say, "Let's Do This", Billy Beane doesn't waste any time, does he? Nick Swisher, who in many ways has been the defining personality of the A's franchise the last two years, is now gone to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for three prospects.

The A's get the White Sox' top two prospects, pitchers Fautino de los Santos and Gio Gonzalez, plus a fourth-outfielder type in Ryan Sweeney. De los Santos has a huge ceiling, but is probably a few years away from the big leagues. He's the kind of high-reward talent that we A's fans hoping the A's would get back in exchange for Dan Haren. Gonzalez is not nearly as talented, but is polished and almost ready for the majors.

The trade of Swisher is a bit of a surprise, as we've been expecting that Joe Blanton would be the next to go. Plus, Swisher was under contract through 2012, so he could conceivably still be around when the A's are ready to contend again. But I guess Beane is going full-bore on filling the 2011 basket with as much talent as conceivably possible. Since Swisher has been dealt, I don't think there is any trade that follows now that would surprise me.

When you look at the combined trades of Haren and Swisher, what Beane has received in return is a possible Haren in de los Santos, a possible Swisher in Carlos Gonzalez, plus a possible Blanton or two in Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez. It will be fun and interesting to add all this up when the ordeal is overwith.

2008-01-03 12:33:21
1.   Ruben F Pineda
Well, according to Kevin Goldstein, they are pretty valuable magic beans (except for Sweeney). de los Santos is a 5 star prospect, and Gio is a 4 star. The A's have gone from one 5 star prospect (Barton) and one 4 star (Cahill) to three 5 star (Barton, Gonzalez, de los Santos) and three 4 star prospects (Cahill, Gio, B Anderson) in one winter.

After Blanton (and Street/Chavez/Ellis?) get traded, the A's may have the #1 farm system in baseball, with their own scouts providing one Four Star prospect...

2008-01-03 12:36:21
2.   trainwreck
I can't believe Swisher is not an A.

I am still in shock.

2008-01-03 12:37:15
3.   Philip Michaels
1 It's possible -- probable, perhaps -- that some of these prospects the A's are stockpiling will turn out just fine. That's one of the reasons I used the magic bean metaphor, since, in "Jack and the Beanstalk," the cow-for-magic-bean transaction works out fairly well for Jack.

Right now though, I'm wondering where the hell my cow just went.

2008-01-03 12:45:34
4.   Rebuilding Season
Swisher is already a major league ready player who will be there for 2011, this trade perplexes me a little. Hopefully these guys will pan out.

And supposedly Sweeney was the Chisox top prospect going into 2011, not sure what happened in between then and now other than a bad season.

And who will play RF in 2008? Cust? Sweeney? Denorfia?

2008-01-03 12:49:43
5.   Ken Arneson
1 The Rays are still the #1 system by far, with so many high-ceiling prospects that I doubt the A's could pass them up no matter how many guys they trade away. You could probably make a case for the A's being #2, though. But I probably wouldn't even do that until and unless they end up with a sure-fire star player who is close to the majors. I'd say top 5.
2008-01-03 12:51:42
6.   Ken Arneson
Looks like Barton at 1B, Johnson DH, and Cust in the OF right now. Ugh, that's one brutal defense.
2008-01-03 13:20:28
7.   Sky
Swisher will still be a good value in a few years, but he won't be crazy cheap. Don't you think Beane could have gotten just as much after next season, though?

12:$10.25M club option ($1M buyout)
(from Cot's)

2008-01-03 13:32:06
8.   doppelganger
This'll probably turn out to be a good deal, but as a fan I won't like seeing Swisher in a White Sox uniform.
Beane is also punting the 08 season.
2008-01-03 13:34:13
9.   Sky
How's Sweeney with the glove? Does Beane see Mark Kotsay potential there?
2008-01-03 13:40:33
10.   Ken Arneson
9 From what I understand, Sweeney has a good arm like Kotsay, but is otherwise similar to Swisher in that he can play CF if you need him to, but you probably wouldn't want that solution long-term.
2008-01-03 14:11:05
11.   Ruben F Pineda
5 Touche Ken

I understand trading Swish considering the A's mob of 1B/OF types (Cust, Swish, Buck, Barton, Carter, etc). But I admit being shocked when I read about it. Like you guys, nothing would shock me now, except perhaps NOT trading Blanton...

2008-01-03 14:36:36
12.   underdog
So there will be lots of road trips to Sacramento this season, I'm assuming? Sort of like Jacksonville was for Dodgers fans a couple of years ago - more interesting to follow than the big league squad.

Do you think Beane may even trade someone like Huston Street, since he thinks relievers are overvalued?

2008-01-03 14:46:15
13.   Ken Arneson
12 Stockton will be the place to be. The entire 2011 A's rotation will probably be there.

Street's a goner, yeah. The only holdup I see are that there are only two contending teams that could really use a closer: the Cubs and the Braves. The Cubs prospects don't thrill me much, and the Braves top prospects are mostly outfielders, so maybe Beane will wait until after the season starts. There's always five to ten closers who flame out every year.

The Blanton trade, I think, is not going to happen until the Johan Santana issue gets resolved. The Mets look like the best trade partner there, but the Mets are still hoping to land Santana instead, and won't deal prospects to Oakland until they're sure they won't need them to land Santana.

2008-01-03 15:04:57
14.   underdog
I see Street being traded in the summer, then - when teams are more desperate for relief help and he can get something good in return.

Stockton? Single A... wow. Okay.

2008-01-03 15:17:19
15.   Philip Michaels
14 If it's any consolation, Stockton has a lovely ballpark.
2008-01-03 15:18:27
16.   jmoney
Let's be clear: Beane didn't punt 2008. He's punting the rest of this decade. I gotta say, I give him a lot of credit. I thought it was time to tear the team down and rebuild, and Beane isn't being half-assed about it. It's an "everything must go" sort of sale. I'm going to have to pound more than a couple of beers in the parking lot to make this team watchable.

Ken also pretty much nailed my second point, which is that the A's suck now, yes, but they have added a boatload of talent. When you add to that talent the guys they'll get from Blanton/Street/Ellis, not to mention the Top 10 draft picks the A's are gonna have the next couple of years, one can't help but believe that the A's are going to have a pretty kickass team for the new stadium.

It really sucks that that stadium is in Fremont.

2008-01-03 15:26:28
17.   overkill94
At least Beane traded from a position of strength with this one, so the offense won't be all that much worse than it would have been with him in it. The pitching staff, on the other hand...
2008-01-03 15:50:12
18.   underdog
But isn't the stadium one of the reason he's punting everything 'til then? Didn't ownership likely request a fire sale to save money and prep a good team for that season? Assuming they have any fans left 'til then. This kinda thing sorta makes my blood boil - look at what happens in Florida, though they have a WS championship at least to prove it. ANyway, hopefully when they DO have a good team again, with all the young talent, they won't just repeat the cycle all over again.
2008-01-03 15:55:00
19.   Ken Arneson
15 16 Know what the address of the lovely ballpark in Stockton is?

404 West Fremont Street.

It all fits, my friends.

2008-01-03 19:59:47
20.   amusingfool
19: Stadium not found error?

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