Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Frank Thomas Not Worth The Risk

Seems like the A’s attention has been drawn to former Chicago White Sox star Frank Thomas as the team’s answer to its pressing need for a legitimate righthanded bat to protect Eric Chavez in the line up.

I wouldn’t go that way.

The A’s don’t have room for a misstep at this position. Money is always an issue and if the team whiffs on a contract with the Big Hurt it will not be able to dig its way out of the probelm until midseason, if at all.

Thomas’s nickname says it all. The Big Hurt can’t run a lick plus he is coming off a very serious ankle injury.

Click below for more!The sight of Thomas clogging up the bases when he does get on via his preferred means of travel, i.e. the walk, will be a sight even the base to base traveling A’s won’t want to see.

If you can recall Thomas playing here in Oakland over the summer amd seeing how he labored to run to first base then you know what I mean.

I’d look for a more athletic player, one who can run and is virtually assured of staying on the field.

How about Marlin free agent Juan Encarncion? I have always thought he would be a good addition to a line up that needs a rightfielder with some power who possesses a terrific throwing arm.

Mike Piazza falls in to the same category as Thomas for me.

Nothing but trouble as Piazza’s health continues to spiral downward.

I would do everything in my power including moving Zito in a flash to pry Troy Glaus from Arizona to be my DH for the next two seasons. I still say Glaus is one of the best power hitters in the game and worth the risk. Other teams, including the Angels, know it and will be all over Glaus too.

Joe Randa would be worth a look. Nomar Garciaparra has a decent chance of staying on the field plus he is a favorite of manager Ken Macha.
Kevin Millar has some power and is a healthy, yet unfortunately aging ball player.

I still would look at Pittsburgh and try to pry lefty reliever Damaso Marte and outfielder Craig Wilson from the Pirates who are still looking for all sorts of help.

Milton Bradley. Not on the A’s. You need an incredibly supportive environment for Bradley and the A’s clubhouse is too loose to baby sit Bradley all season.

Dusty Baker seems to think he can deal with Bradley in Chicago. Jim Tracy in Pittsburgh has a warm spot for Bradley too.

Reggie Sanders could give the A’s 20 homers and he is great in the clubhouse. He might have one more season left in the tank.

Miguel Tejada wants to be traded from Baltimore. The Red Sox have offered Manny to the O’s for the all star shortstop.

If I’m the Orioles I’d look West.

How about bringing Miguel back to Oakland? Why not? I’d give up Bobby Crosby, Kirk Saarloos, and Nick Swisher to have Miguel back in the lineup hitting third.

A sure way to undo one of the worst decisions the A’s front office has made.

Matt Morris is hardly worth 25 million guaranteed over the next three years. He might do fine for part of the contract but with his stuff on the decline any team that commits that much money to him for the three year haul is asking for trouble.

If the Angels don’t pick up a proven hitter to back up Bad Vlad they become vulnerable in the West. Juan Rivera just doesn’t scare me at DH.

The Seraphs lost Paul Byrd and Jarrod Washburn so who becomes the fifth starter? Jared Weaver will get a shot if he shows anything in spring training.

Jeff Weaver and Washburn would be better fits on any staff than Morris.

If the Dodgers grab Bill Mueller and JT Snow they will have inked two gamers, a quality that team lacked last season.

Seattle can’t give Gil Meche or Ryan Franklin away. If I’m Texas I’m looking seriously at Meche who still has front of the rotation potential.

Wouldn’t Meche be a better risk than Sidney Ponson, a project that the Rangers are considering?

Again tell me the logic in signing Esteban Loiaza to a three year 22 million dollar contract?

Lastings Milledge will be a player some day, but it isn’t worth moving Barry Zito to the Mets for his potential bat whicj may surface two to three years down the road.

I don’t see a deal out there for Zito worth making unless it would be to Pittsburgh and includes lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez among others.

Javy Lopez could DH for the A’s and Baltimore is open to moving him since they signed Ramon Hernandez to a long term deal.

Zito for Javy Lopez is worth considering.

How about the A’s signing Bengie Molina to DH/catch? If you want a slug to clog up the bases, I’d take Molina over Thomas plus Molina could push Jason Kendall to DHing.

Kendall could be the first DH to go a whole season without hitting a ball to the fence on a fly.

It’s good to be home. My time in Florida gave me a chance to recharge the batteries.

Next Inside Baseball the winter version is scheduled for Dec. 21st at 7 30 PM on 1550 KYCY in the Bay Area.

Have a nice weekend and let’s hope Frank Thomas’s x rays are misplaced on the way to Oakland.


1 Anonymous { 12.11.05 at 12:58 pm }

Hi Marty,

I’m mystified as to why nobody is mentioning Reggie Sanders, who I think is a more acceptable risk than either Thomas or Piazza — he can still play in the field and run, and his bat still has something left.

Zito for Javy Lopez seems too lopsided in the Orioles’ favor. I don’t think Zito gets traded unless it’s a big haul.

I was probably sadder to see Tejada leave Oakland than any other player in recent years. But I would be shocked if the A’s tried to get him back.

I’ve always liked Molina’s defense and offense (except, of course, his glacial slowness). But his acquisition would make Kendall an awfully expensive part-time catcher and punchless DH.

Welcome back,

Oakland Si

2 Anonymous { 12.11.05 at 1:48 pm }

Great analysis as usual. I agree with you that Frank Thomas is a big risk. Billy Beane,however,has made that type of mov in the past. Remember,John Jaha? Beane likes to go to the scrapheap and pluck an aging ballpayer like Thomas and hope that there is some gas left in the tank. If healthy, and it is a big question mark, Thomas can really help this team by hitting behind Eric Chavez. The A’s will probably give Thomas
as incentive laden contract and will cut him if he fails.

As for Mike Piazza. Piazza in his prime was a terrific right
hand hitter with power to right center field. Again, health is an issue. Has time and playing the catcher position caught up with Piazza? Will he take a contract for a million dollars plus
incentives? Will the A’s take a chance?

I think you hit the nail on the head with a trade that will bring Troy Glaus back to the American League.Glaus would
really be the big right hand bat the A’s need and he could play 3rd base to give Chavez a rest from time to time. We still don’t know if Chavez’ shoulder has healed properly.

Jerry Feitelberg

3 pachyderm { 12.13.05 at 2:18 pm }

Hey Marty and Jerry,

You guys have a point with having Troy Glaus as a DH/3B, Glaus would be comfortable back in the AL.
A lineup with Ellis, Kendall, Kotsay, Chavez, Glaus, Payton, Johnson, Crosby, Swisher could work plus Macha loves then he is given options. On Monday (12/12) MLB radio’s “Baseball Today” mentioned there will be news on Thomas this week. Also, Mychael Urban on his mailbag at the A’S website, has this lineup to think about Kendall, Kotsay, Thomas, Chavez, Johnson, Payton, Swisher, Crosby, Ellis. Lastly, will the Marlins be in South Florida this spring?

Edgar Martinez, A’S Fan

4 marty { 12.13.05 at 8:38 pm }

Milton Bradley is the new A’s rightfielder. During Bradley’s phone conference with the Bay Area media he was asked if he had any problems while playing in Los Angeles. Bradley said his physical injuries stopped him last year, but wouldn’t acknowledge any issues he had with teammates especially with Jeff Kent.
Not a very candid start for the newest Athletic.
There is no Jeff Kent on the A’s, both Mark Kotsay and Jason Kendall will be more diplomatic if Bradley doesn’t play at what they consider an all out major league level.
Bradley will play right field, probably hit third. Nick Swisher becomes the first base/DH with Dan Johnson. When facing tough lefties Antonio Perez who also is in the deal could DH instead of Swisher who struggled against righthnders.
Perez won’t play much and could be used in another trade for bull pen help.
The A’s usually fly below the radar trying to make chicken salad out of something less than pure chicken, maybe they will get lucky with Bradley.
Some call Bradley the Rasheed Wallace of baseball. He’ll need a lot of support and knowing the Bay Area media they will give him his space and let him play baseball.
It’s a decent pick up if he is healthy.
Barry Zito? He is an Athletic until July then let’s see where the team is at.
Ricardo Rincon will be missed for sure. He was tough on the lefthanded hitters in the West except for Garret Anderson. Can Joe Kennedy replace Rincon in the pen? Probably not because his breaking ball lacks consistency and his fastball is just OK.
Another lefty should be the next priority for BB and company.
Never a dull moment.
Personally I would have traded for Troy Glaus.

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