So much Rich Harden. So much for Nick Swisher. And so much for the big, bad Angels. Nice, isn’t it, that there were more than a couple of A’s-related items going on in the opening round of the baseball playoffs. Here’s my take on them:
Not going to spend a lot of time delving into my opinion on the Nick Swisher trade this evening, because it’s best summed up in my column that will appear Friday. The long and short of it is that once general manager Billy Beane determined his returning team would be mediocre at best, this was inevitable. And since he’d rather do this job than be mediocre, he’s jumped into the deep end.
What this move also does is establish a starting line for which Beane should be judged. He’s been called a genius for building the foundation that led to the A’s great run from 1999-2006 (five playoff appearances, eight straight winning seasons), but his legacy will be written as much by this rebuilding project as by that early success. Starting with this move and the Dan Haren trade, there are no more free passes.
Just happened to check out John Sickels’ minorleaguball.com site and he happened to list the White Sox’s top 20 prospects for 2008. Check it out. Three of the top five come to the A’s in this deal. This is one of the best minor-league sites on the Web, by the way.
Sickels also talked to athleticsnation.com on Friday afternoon, and here are his thoughts.