Is Billy Beane's job on the line if his all in approach fails?

Published: Jul 31, 2014 12:13pm EDT
By Lance Rinker, Managing Editor for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Jul 31, 2014 @ 12:18pm EDT


For the second time in less than a month, Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics have pulled off a blockbuster of a trade. This deal doesn’t involve any top prospects, but it does involve shipping off their best power bat in Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester, who will certainly bolster their rotation but is considered a strict two-month rental.

The Boston Red Sox are the big winners in this trade by shoring up their outfield and middle of the lineup through 2015, while still retaining an outside shot at signing Lester to a new contract in the offseason. They are squarely looking to compete again next season while Beane and the A’s are looking to win a World Series this year.

The A’s haven’t been to the World Series since 1990, when they were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, and haven’t won the World Series since 1989 when they swept the San Francisco Giants.

Beane has effectively poured everything he can into winning it all this year, which is more than understandable considering all of the talk surrounding his inability to build a team capable of making it through the playoffs throughout his tenure as the A’s General Manager.

One has to wonder if Beane keep his job if the A’s don’t win the World Series this year.

The 2015 team is decidedly weaker than this version, and with an owner that has a history of not spending big money on free agents, the window to win it all is decidedly narrow.

Lester and another recent acquisition in Jason Hammel are free agents upon the conclusion of the season, Alberto Callaspo, Jed Lowrie and Luke Gregerson are also free agents once the season ends. Add in the fact that they have traded away the 27-year-old Tommy Milone to the Minnesota Twins for a waiver wire pickup in Sam Fuld and it’s easy to envision a 2015 with quite a few holes.

The biggest hole will be at shortstop where Lowrie has provided stellar defense and above average offensive production for the position. The list of free agents that can play shortstop even adequately is only three deep with Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy and Lowrie headlining the position. All three will cost more money and longer deals than the A’s are likely comfortable giving.

Beane should still have a competitive team in 2015 considering he will still have one of the better starting rotations in the American League with Jeff Samardzija, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, the surprising Jesse Chavez and any number of pitching prospects they plug in to round it out. But, having a strong rotation is only half of the equation in the embattled American League West where the Los Angeles Angels have pitching and offense, the Seattle Mariners have pitching and something resembling a capable offense and the Texas Rangers will go into the 2015 season healthier and capable of putting up and limiting runs.

If these series of moves by Beane doesn’t work the way he’s envisioning, and hoping, then the future of the A’s may not be as bright as once thought.


Comments (2)

  • Lance Rinker   Jul 31, 2014 @ 07:39PM
    I completely agree. Can you imagine if a team like the Blue Jays, Yankees, or Red Sox decided he was THEIR guy? Dangerous man.. -

  • Michael Owen   Jul 31, 2014 @ 07:03PM
    if he gets fired, the line forms to the left to bring him on. Imagine what he could do with an actual budget... -

Lance Rinker
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