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NBC SportsTalk: What are the A’s doing signing Cespedes?

Feb 15, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

That’s one question.  Another: why, after taunting the host, Russ Thaler, on Twitter about it all day yesterday, did I then go ahead and mispronounce Yoenis Cespedes‘ last name?

We’ll never know!  But it probably had something to do with the fact that, as we were broadcasting this thing live last night, my cat was just out of the frame, threatening to jump up on my lap.

Professionalism, FTW!

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  1. Old Gator - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    I’ll tell you what the Athletics were doing by signing Cespedes: they were trying to help save the Feesh from themselves. After hiring Slobbering Ozzie and then bringing Krazy Karlos Lamebraino aboard, this kindly gesture might not do the job all by itself – but it is, nevertheless, a small contribution to the cause.

    • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      PS – Craig, if you happen to be touring the spring camps this season, especially the ones on the west coast of Florida, take your cat with you. The feral monitor lizards – remember them? – will take care of the rest of your problem.

  2. uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    I know there are some blogs that are calling this a shrewd move by the A’s but I just don’t see it. They signed him to a 4 year deal for $36MM. If and when they the A’s do ever become relevant/competitive in the AL West Cespedes contract will probably be up by then. There is no way the A’s are even going to be competitive for at least the next 2 years if not more. I see no reason for them to have spent all that money when they are going nowhere in a hurry. At least that my opinion.

    • phillyphreak - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      It’s probably more than being competitive in the AL West. Maybe it’s to play to the fan-base a little: they’re willing to spend some money on players. Maybe it helps drive more interest in the team and for a team that was 30th in attendance in the MLB last year it’s worth a shot. Besides it’s not like mega free agents are knocking down the door to sign with the A’s either.

      Plus it’s not all that much money for a potential star (or potential really really good player).

      • uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you. When you look at the A’s who according to baseball reference have an estimated payroll for the 2012 season of about $55MM prior to the Cespedes signing and just in the last 2 or 3 months have trade away Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey for them to commit $36MM over 4 years ($9MM per) to a player who has yet to play 1 inning of MLB is irresponsible. That’s just my opinion.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        I understand their payroll concerns but I don’t think it’s irresponsible at all to make the moves they made. They got a nice haul (AJ Cole, Norris etc) for Gio who isn’t as good as a lot of people would like to believe. Maybe they should have done better in the Cahill trade. But their farm is now totally changed and way improved from the end of the season.

        “… for them to commit $36MM over 4 years ($9MM per) to a player who has yet to play 1 inning of MLB is irresponsible…”

        I understand the risk in signing a player like this, but why do so many people use this as an important sticking point for their argument? Who cares if he hasn’t played in the MLB- he will now. And if you are a big believer in the $/WAR framework he only has to be about a 2 win/year player to be worth the deal.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        phillyphreak – I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. If I can make just a few more points first.
        1) I don’t think you are comparing apples to apples. First off about the trades the A’s made. Granted they may have restocked their farm system. But since most “prospects” don’t make it to the majors and fewer become stars I’m not sure the A’s are better off having trading Gio, Cahill, etc… for what might happen sometime in the future.
        2) Cespedes better account for more then just 2 wins to make his contract worthwhile. Because if nothing else they lost Willingham who signed for 3yrs/$21MM ($7MM per) and he he generated just about 2 wins based on WAR. BTW, I’m not a big fan of that stat.
        3) The A’s have made a player with NO MLB experience their highest paid player on the team. That seems ridiculous in my opinion.

        I just think this is a signing that will come back and bit the A’s (Billy Beane) on the ass when all is said and one.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        I can agree to disagree.

        Last rebuttal to your points:

        1) If the A’s are really planning for the future then it makes perfect sense to trade and build their farm. Not all prospects make it sure, but if a team can get better prospects with (maybe) a better chance to make it-then they should build that way. It’s possible that the A’s didn’t hold Gio in the same regard as the Nats do/did so they capitalized.

        2) The $/WAR (per FG) is about 5 million/win. So for a contract a $9 million/year all he has to do is be a 2 win player (or like Willingham). But if he’s as good as scouts say he can be and becomes, say a 4 win player, then that’s a barging for the As.

        3) They may have done so. But I’m not sure anyone on the A’s has a ceiling as high as Cespedes.

        4) Also, pure speculation, but if he does become a really really good player and the A’s want/need another year or two to build, I’m sure that he will be good trade bait to do so particularly at that price.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        Bad feedback about getting rid of good players can cause things like this. “Get me somebody, anybody.” None of us will know if this was a good move until he plays a season or two really. If he turns out to be as good as his leg presses I’d say it’s an alright move. Not one I’d expect from this team, but an alright move nonetheless.

      • scatterbrian - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        uyf -

        All players are prospects at one point, including Gio and Cahill. Just because prospects across baseball don’t have a high success rate doesn’t mean you stop looking at them. I’m not sure that’s what you meant, but it read that way.

        “3) The A’s have made a player with NO MLB experience their highest paid player on the team. That seems ridiculous in my opinion.”

        This has no bearing on whether or not Cespedes is a good player, or if he was a good signing for the A’s. Yu Darvish just signed for a longer, more expensive contract and he’s never thrown a Major League pitch. That is the gamble…..at least the A’s didn’t also have to pay a posting fee.

  3. kjt929 - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    That shocked me i thought he’d go to mami

  4. koufaxmitzvah - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Not that I can see much, but it looks like you’ve got a nifty living room there, Craig. Clean table, with your balls neatly stacked. Fancy shmancy.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Get a dog, man. Get a dog.

    • cur68 - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      deathmonkey ftw.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        A dog that goes woof, woof. Dogs that go yip, yip – like that cleverly disguised fancy guinea pig who won the Westminster show yeaterday – are the product of unholy gene splicing.

      • cur68 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        That wasn’t a dog. That was a fancy rat.

      • stex52 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        No kidding! Canus Lupus led to that little monstrosity? I don’t know how breeders sleep at night.

      • stex52 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        “Canis.” Sorry, brain fart.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        And “lupus” with a small “l.” Double brain fart. Now you’ve really got the Linnaeus Society all pissed off at you.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        Back in the old days when that breed was devised the intent was a cheap alternative to a mop. You clobber it then stick a handle up it’s rear end. It was a cutting edge business theory actually. Products which produce themselves. Imagine this, input dog kibble. Output, mops. It would of worked perfectly if the humans of this world didn’t go and get all “PC” on us and gain “morals” over clobbering and handle sodomizing dogs/mops.

      • stex52 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:05 PM

        Oops. That’s what I get for trying to sound educated. Won’t happen again on this site.

        BTW, if you missed my reply, “Call me Ishmael.” Big shocker.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM

        I can’t knock the curtain-raiser for Moby-Dick, especially since the discovery of penicillin. I didn’t much like the way Richard Basehart enunciated it, though…there has to be a pregnant pause between “me” and “Ishmael” to drive home the point that Ishmael isn’t really his name and that some kind of agenda lies behind is pseudonymity,

        But more important, Captain Kirk and Khan were thinking it at the same time. Now that’s synchronicity!

  6. stex52 - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Seems inconsistent with their other actions. I assume it is a cost that had to be absorbed to keep fans in the seats.

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