Love Or Letdown: Do These Teams Know What They’re Doing?

As we edge toward the end of free agency and closer to Opening Day, teams are making moves.  Signings, trades and weird stuff are no surprise this time of year.  However, some teams make odd moves.  Ones that confuse you, excite you, or whatever.  These teams have ideas of what they want to be (or what they don’t want to be), and how competitive (or not) they’ll be this year.

Other teams though, make really stupid moves.  Ones that no one can figure out.  These teams tend to be ones that aren’t sure how they will preform this year.  They’re struggling to convey the facts.  These teams, are as follows:

Oakland A’s:

Do they know what they’re doing?: Yup

Will it work?: Maybe

This may be the most interesting team of the offseason.  The A’s have made five trades, shipping out fan favorites and getting back depth.  It doesn’t seem like a great combination.

But, that depth they’re acquiring, will pay off.  Guys like Derek Norris have been shipped out for Ike Davis.  They’ve signed Billy Butler, and have totally reshaped their infield.  It’s completely different.

Shipping out these guys, who may be exiting their prime, gives them the possibility of getting younger.  It also is a cheaper option, and with the A’s, a poor team, that helps.  Oakland is revamping the infield, but not touching their outfield.  Minus Yoneis Cespedes, who’s now the ultimate pinball player.

If your Oakland, your simply getting rid of guys who you’d let go later because you can’t pay them.  A player earning himself money then leaving is disheartening.  It sucks.  The A’s are avoiding that.

Oakland knows though, that if this doesn’t work, that they have a plan for the future.  That’s where acquiring young guys comes in.  Guys like Brett Lawire and Joe Wendle have had missteps, but the A’s hope they can fix that down the road.

With all eyes on this season, it could be disappointing for Oakland.  This whole “young&cheap with a little bit of spice” thing may not work.  The expectations this year shouldn’t be set high by the front office.  The rotation is horrendous, so bad I don’t want to talk about it.  If their plans don’t work, and the pitching is a train wreck, it won’t be a surprise to me.

It would be a surprise for the A’s to contend.  Their pitching would have to be outstanding, and younger players would have to remain healthy.  There is a shot, but the A’s have to look at the future for now.

Atlanta Braves:

Do They Know What They’re Doing?: Nope

Will it work?: Nope

Atlanta seems to be in reboot mode.  Or rebuild.  I don’t know.  They’re a mess.  I’m not sure they know what they’re doing.  I don’t even think they have a plan.

After an epic collapse at the end of the season, the Braves pretty much blew it up.  They traded Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Jordan Walden, and now, just two days ago, Evan Gattis.  This team is going to average like three runs a game, right?

The selling of these offensive players makes you think they’re rebuilding, yet they go ahead and sign guys like Alberto Callaspo and Nick Markakis.  Those are two very good players, but, why sign them, when your not planning to compete?

Maybe it’s the money thing.  Guys love money in baseball.  Too sign with a bad team, you’ll get paid more.

Atlanta is also stockpiling guys in the minor’s, which will help significantly over the next couple years.  The Braves have to be smart about when to bring them (minor leaguers) up, but also can’t wait too long (cough, Twins, cough).  They’ve added nice pieces through the trades, like Shelby Miller, but, I can’t see this team coming together just yet.  It’s not all there.

The rebuild has to be frustrating for stars like Freddie Freeman.  This was a really promising team.  They were really good a couple years ago.  I don’t know what they have up their sleeve quite yet, but some clarity should be presented soon.

I’m going to be ridiculous and half-empty, but maybe they’ll just wait till the new stadium opens up to be good.  Maybe that’s the plan.

Chicago White Sox:

Do They Know What They’re Doing?:  Nope

Will it work?: Maybe!

It seems like the White Sox are stuck in between rebuild and “Ehh, we could just do that and see how it goes, and pull something out of our butt if we have to.” mode.

They have some great young talent.  Some are on the roster, some they still have to call up.

But, at the same time, they’ve signed and traded for some players this offseason.  Good players.    Chicago has signed Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche, and David Robertson.  Those are some really nice pieces.  It’s interesting though.  It makes you wonder what their plans are for this upcoming season.  Do they want to contend?  Do they think they have a shot?

The White Sox plans though, seem to be more about the future than now.  With Jose Abreu locked up, they have some serious young talent that they will be able to keep.  These signings may be for building hope.  They will be better this year.  Every year, for the next five or so, they should continue to get better.

I criticized the White Sox in December.  I didn’t understand what they were doing.  Now, it’s clear.  Acquire big-time players, who will make impacts, combine them with your young talent, and surprise people.  It’s a process, but it will work, eventually.

Chicago’s offense is going to be good this coming year.  The pitching rotation is going to be really scary.  With the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija from Oakland, they add a reliable pitcher to a rotation already featuring Chris Sale, one of the strikeout masters in the league.

So, could this team, with a confusing front office, actually be good this year?

Or are they wanting to still rebuild?

It’s a cluster.  A good cluster, but a cluster.  This team could shock some people.  It could also go down the drain.   It’s really a wait n’ see.  It’s what you get with people like this running a baseball team.  Love or letdown.