The superlatives you will read about the trade Billy Beane made on Independence Day will be words like "BLOCKBUSTER" and "ALL-IN". Don't let any of that scare you, Angels fans. The blockbuster part of the deal was the Athletics dumping the high end of their farm system. So the 2019 Angels are in better shape after today's deal.
How about the 2014 Anegls?
Well, don't panic, this season's Halos are in good shape too. The Athletics acquired Jason Hammel, a veteran starting pitcher with an ERA of 4.46 over 78 games (70 of them starts) over the three seasons prior to this one. Sure, he is having a career year with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts this year but a half-season does not win you a Cy Young. They also acquired Jeff Samrdzija, easily the Cubs best starter. Samzilla is 29 and is immediately the ace of the Oakland staff.
But the A's have been treading water of late and a few parts on the team that appearaed to playing over their heads are just as likely running out of gas as they are going through statistical fluctuations. Billy Beane now has surplus pitching to make another deal but he is going to need someone with stats plausible enough to bump out a current regualr and yet stats that aren't small-sample mirage.
When they said it was BLOCKBUSTER they are right - Theo Epstein of the Cubs just brought a prospect bonanza to The North Side. When they say that Oakland GM Billy Beane went ALL-IN they are right. And when you go All In a few things can happen. You can have nothing quite soon, or you can have double the chips you just had. There aren't guarantees when you make the ALL-IN bet. With the Angels closing in on him, the likelihood that Billy sweats and pushes the wrong button increases. We'll know one day soon which button was pushed today. The games must be played.