All that's left is Cyber-Verlander laughing like the "final boss" he is, as our fallen heroes contemplate if an extra quarter or two is really going to mean anything to the bottom line.
So, with recent news that the Oakland A's are unlikely to be forced to become the San Francisco/Golden State Athletics (i.e. the budget New York Jets,) it is time to ponder what needs to be done from a pure baseball perspective to get the A's past two decades or so of playoff futility.
Who was/will probably be lost:
RHP Grant Balfour, RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Pat Neshek, C Kurt Suzuki, OF Chris Young
What is needed:
A scary, budget-conscious bat: 1B, OF Michael Morse
An injury-plagued 2013 season for Morse means this would have to be a extremely calculated risk. In just 312 at-bats, Morse had a respectable 13 home runs. However, his .215/.270/.381 line shows that there are a lot of questions to be had on whether or not Morse can be an impact bat like he was in Washington. These questions have driven his asking price, and probable length of contract, way down.
However, this is the exact type of risk the A's need to take. If Morse can heal up his wrist and return to at least partial form, his versatility would give the A's a legitimate top-flight platoon at first base. This is not to mention the value Morse brings flexibility-wise, as he can spot at s in the outfield, and at DH.
I mean, if he doesn't belong in the clubhouse culture of the Bernie, the pie, and the general pro-insanity attitude which makes rooting for the Oakland A's so damn fun, then I am completely misreading how FRICKING cool that hat is.
I mean, really. Look at it.
A veteran presence in the rotation: RHP Tim Hudson
Look past the fact that Huddy has only gone over 180 innings-pitched just twice in the past six seasons, after surpassing that mark eight straight years from 2000-2007.
His age and his perceived frailty mean nothing when it comes to the sheer presence and consistency that he'd bring in a return trip to the city which launched his borderline Hall of Fame career.
When Hudson is healthy, he walks just around 2.3-2.5 batters per nine innings--an absolutely outstanding luxury to have. You know what you are getting out of Hudson on the mound, and you know what you are getting out of him as a consummate professional. Put that all together, and you have the perfect storm for a return of one of the vaunted big 3.
An insane closer/setup man who screams at stuff: RHP Brian Wilson
His second Tommy John surgery puts him in the A's price range. His inability to make the voices in his head go away makes him a perfect fit in the O.Co Asylum/Pit/Concrete Structure of Note.
A one-year rental of Wilson at a sharp discount re-completes the Circle of Life in the Oakland Athletics' bullpen with the departure of Rage from the East Bay.
If Brian Wilson and the thing which grows on his face can return to 2009-2011 form, the A's would have a fire-balling, fire-breathing (not so) pretty little bow on what is still a top-ten bullpen minus Grant Balfour. If he can limit his home run totals like usual and push his strikeout/walk ratio into the 3 to 3.5/1 range, the A's could use him as one of the final pieces of their World Series puzzle.
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