FanPost

Tower's Comments on Haren

Curtasy of Athletics Nation and The San Jose Mercury...

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Beane explains shocking 72 hours
By gotgreen on Sat Feb 26th, 2005

Everybody in AN-land already knows his reason but here is BB's explanation for the Huddy and Mulder trade in the SJ Mercury.
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/11002723.htm

For a 72-hour period in December, you wondered what in the name of "Moneyball" Billy Beane was doing.

Why was one of the fiercest competitors in baseball apparently throwing in the towel and waving the white flag to his American League West brethren? It's one thing to trade Tim Hudson. But two days later, Mark Mulder, too?

Rest easy, the A's general manager says. Step off the ledge. He has a plan that could keep the A's competitive for years while they encounter only a possible minor pothole or speed bump this season. The future, Beane believes, is as bright as the blinding sun shining through his office window at Papago Park.

Beane presided over a winter of discontent not witnessed by the A's front office since the early 1990s, when their last dynasty decayed with age and crumbled mortar by mortar. Beane wasn't going to allow that to happen again. Not on his watch.

The A's needed to sever Hudson's $6.5 million salary and Mulder's $6 million figure (and a $7.5 million option for 2006) because Beane knew they could not sign them beyond this season, and that they would not win with them in `05 with a mid-$50 million payroll that would have forced him to gut his roster.

"Most people have problems with simple math," he said. "We're flattered by the expectations that come with Oakland, but we're also mystified by that when you constantly have to make changes in your personnel and payroll. I know somehow that gets lost every month or so. It's going to be the case now, and it's not going to be the last."

Without naming names, Beane said he would have been forced to trade away as many as five players to keep Hudson and Mulder for one more year. That could have meant closer Octavio Dotel, designated hitter Erubiel Durazo, left fielder Eric Byrnes and late-inning specialists Chad Bradford and Ricardo Rincon. Catcher Jason Kendall could not have been acquired if two of the Big Three weren't going to be traded, Beane said.

"We would have gotten rid of four or five significant players and had to fill them with not just rookies, but rookies who are not ready for the major leagues," he said. "And you know what? The year after that would have been even worse. I'm a little mystified and amazed that people can't see that. But we'd have Hudson and Mulder, so everyone is happy.

"It's baffling to me. I'm not sure we would have been this good if we don't make those moves. I don't know what we're going to do (record-wise) this year, but I just know we're going to get better and have payroll flexibility."

By trading Hudson to the Atlanta Braves, the A's received left-handed starter Dan Meyer, late-inning reliever Juan Cruz and outfielder Charles Thomas. In dealing Mulder to the St. Louis Cardinals, the A's picked up right-handed starter Danny Haren, setup man Kiko Calero and minor-league catcher Daric Barton, who is one of the top prospects in baseball.

By keeping Hudson and Mulder, Beane may have received draft picks and nothing else.

"I think they did extremely well in those trades," said Los Angeles Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta, Beane's former assistant.

Said San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers, "He's not conceding this season, but you have to take one small step back before you take three steps forward. Haren and Meyer could be Hudson and Mulder a year or two from now. Haren, I think, is a little ahead of Meyer. I really like Haren. I tried to get him, too. To me, this all makes a lot of sense."

Beane now has five players who could make the Opening Day roster, and a sixth (Barton) he believes will be a star. And Haren and Meyer are locked up for the next six seasons at bargain basement salaries.

"The comfortable thing would have been to let this thing just burn itself out, but I'm not going to let that happen," said Beane, whose team has averaged 96 victories the past five seasons. "I'm more excited about this spring than I've been since 2001. I've said this many times, but the 2001 team was the best we've had since the `89 team. It didn't realize its ultimate goal, but it was more of a complete team. What this reminds me of is where we were after the `99 season, when we could see something building and had young players that we could build on for the next couple years. This, for me, is very exciting."

Said Towers: "He's the type of guy that is one step ahead of everybody. He's thinking one or two years down the road. You can't always make moves that are good for PR. If you do, you're going to make a lot of wrong decisions."

Beane was scalded by the Bay Area media for trading Hudson and Mulder, but he expected that. He knew the moves would be unpopular, but Beane "had a lot of conviction, just as he always has," DePodesta said. "I don't think Billy feels angst. We talked about it. In an ideal world you want to keep them all together. But he knew he was doing the right thing."

Perhaps some people reveled in Beane absorbing his shots because of the success he has had with his "Moneyball" theories.

"Most people don't like Billy because of his ego, but part of the reason he is so good is his ego," Towers said. "He's got a big ego, but he backs it up. You can have that ego when you're as good at what he does (as he is)."

Will Beane remain in Oakland to watch his grand plan take shape again? He has an escape clause in his contract if the team is sold. Prospective owner Lew Wolff could assume control sometime after spring training, and Beane said he's begun preliminary talks with Wolff.

"My first impression was very, very good," Beane said. "I'm not looking for a reason to leave. I know a lot of things have to happen before the transition is complete."

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The key here being this quote (I dont know how to do bold so bear with me).

Said San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers, "He's not conceding this season, but you have to take one small step back before you take three steps forward. Haren and Meyer could be Hudson and Mulder a year or two from now. Haren, I think, is a little ahead of Meyer. I really like Haren. I tried to get him, too. To me, this all makes a lot of sense."

I didnt know that Towers went after Haren.

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This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball managers or SB Nation.

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