The 2013 MLB Trade Deadline was a snoozer, compared to past years. In fact, the most interesting trade must have been Bud Norris going to the Orioles in exchange for a player with the last name of Hoes (no kidding).
The Bay Area was no exception. The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics stayed relatively quiet, with the only acquisition made by the A’s, who brought in Alberto Callaspo from the Angels in exchange for Grant Green.
That may have been all the A’s needed, considering they sit atop the AL West by four games and are not desperate for an upgrade at any position. Their one “weakness” was at second base, which they addressed by bringing in Callaspo, a seasoned veteran.
But he wasn’t exactly the big name that the A’s were rumored to be after. You know, guys like Jake Peavy, Chase Utley, and Michael Young. Instead of breaking the bank and mortgaging the future, GM Billy Beane elected to make a low-key move.
While trading Green, a top prospect, may have alarmed some people, the A’s must have seen something in his five starts with the big club that showed he wasn’t yet ready to play in the majors. Green went 0-for-15 and did not look comfortable defensively at all.
So instead, they’re substituting Callaspo in for the hapless Adam Rosales, and shooting for their first World Series championship in over 20 years.
On the other side of the bay, the Giants were in a completely different situation. Having fallen to last place in the NL West and in a never-ending funk, the defending champs were expected to be sellers and trade away guys like Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, and Javier Lopez.
All of them wound up staying, as the Giants did absolutely nothing at the deadline. Not a single move.
Why? Because they drove up the asking price so high that nobody was willing to make a deal, and GM Brian Sabean even called some of the offers from other teams “embarrassing.”
But the biggest move that both teams made turned out to be the move they never made.
For the A’s, it was the news that Bartolo Colon will not be suspended for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, since he already served a 50-game ban last season for the same infraction.
Colon, 40, is the undisputed ace of the staff, with 14 wins and pitching like he’s 25 and not overweight. He has been nothing but marvelous for the club this season, and the A’s sure dodged a bullet from Major League Baseball.
Meanwhile, in the Giants case, not making a move was the only news out of Sabean’s office. This shows that they’re treating this season like a “down year,” confident that they can find success once again next year.
Pence is a free agent after the season. So is Lincecum. The Giants could have just taken a look at the situation, waved the white flag, and dealt them both away to save money and bring in prospects to build for the future.
But they didn’t, hoping that they can rekindle the magic of 2010 and 2012 in 2014.