A’s taking necessary risks to compete in 2016
The Oakland A’s have made quite a few moves this offseason, but in comparison to last season, this year has been an easy one on executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst. They knew where their biggest holes were and they’ve filled them both through trades and free agent signings.
Some of those signings, however, have people scratching their heads and wondering if the A’s executives have made the right decisions. They’ve signed two pitchers, reliever Ryan Madson and starter Rich Hill, both of whom are 35 years old and both of whom have traveled down unusual career paths that have now led them to Oakland.
According to Beane, the team is trying to match bigger-spending teams by investing in “comeback” players which, as noted, can appear to be extremely risky. However, in 2014 the A’s took a risk in starting pitcher Scott Kazmir, signing him to a two-year, $22 million contract, who was making a comeback after similar time away from the game. Kazmir was fantastic for Oakland before he was traded to Houston at the trade deadline last season. As Beane put it, there are two outcomes to these kinds of signings,
“If we’re right, we’re gonna be smart,” Beane said. “If we’re wrong, you’ll know why we’re wrong — because we dealt with a small sample size.”
While the A’s are certainly taking some big risks by signing two mid-30’s pitchers, they’ve done so in a smart way. To read my column on both the Hill and Madson signings by the A’s follow the link below to Today’s Knuckleball: