Instead of losing sleep over the Royals All-Star voting debacle, can we elect to wipe out the AL squad and replace it with all former Oakland Athletics players? Every MLB team makes dozens of transactions each year but Billy Beane’s organization has provided the other 29 teams with higher quality big league talent than any other team. As a result, why not create a 25-man roster of active players that have been traded by the A’s and have them take the place of the All-Royals team in the Midsummer Classic? That’s exactly what we have done.
In order to be eligible for the 25-man roster, players must have appeared in a game for the Athletics, been traded by them and, with a few minor exceptions, be active on an MLB roster. Check out how much former Oakland talent is lining big league lineups, rotations, benches and bullpens.
1. Marco Scutaro – 2B
Marco Scutaro is one of three non-active MLB players on the 25-man roster, but because he was only released by the San Francisco Giants in January, we’re making an exception. The 2012 NLCS MVP and World Series Champion (Giants) was traded from Oakland to Toronto in November 2007 for minor league pitchers Kristian Bell and Graham Godfrey
2. Yunel Escobar – SS
Escobar spent all of four days with the A’s after they acquired him from the Rays, along with Ben Zobrist, for John Jaso, Daniel Robertson and Boog Powell on January 10th of this year. He was then dealt to the Nationals on the 14th for reliever Tyler Clippard.
3. Josh Donaldson – 3B
Donaldson’s trade to the Blue Jays was the highlight of an Athletics fire sale last offseason. He was moved for four players, including Brett Lawrie and is having a career season in Toronto.
4. Matt Holliday – LF
Many forget that 35-year-old MLB veteran and potential future Hall of Famer Matt Holliday spent one season in the Bay Area. He was traded from Colorado to Oakland in November 2008 before getting moved again nine months later, this time to St. Louis for three prospects (Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson).
5. Yoenis Cespedes – RF
In arguably the biggest deal of the 2014 MLB Trade Deadline, Cespedes was traded to Boston for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. He would finish the season batting a combined .260 with 22 bombs and a career-high 100 RBI. The Cuba native was moved again just four months later, this time to Detroit, where he’s hitting .309 with nine homers and 35 RBI through 65 games.
6. Derek Norris – C
The Derek Norris-Padres trade last winter received little attention, primarily because of San Diego’s monster offseason that included James Shields, the Upton brothers, Wil Myers, Matt Kemp and others. The A’s moved the 2014 All-Star last December for pitchers A.J. Alvarez and Jesse Hahn.
7. Carlos Gonzalez – CF
It’s been eight years since Oakland acquired Carlos Gonzalez from Arizona in a seven-player deal that included Dan Haren being shipped to the Diamondbacks. Gonzalez only remained with the A’s for one season before being dealt to Colorado in that Matt Holiday blockbuster following the 2008 season. He has since racked up two All-Star nods, three Gold Gloves and one NL batting title.
8. Chris Carter – DH
Chris Carter was also involved in the 2007 Gonzalez-Haren deal. He would spend three uneventful seasons with the A’s before landing with Houston following the 2012 season. Carter has become a reliable slugger in the Astros lineup over the last three years despite brutal consistency issues. He even became the fourth player in MLB history to join the 200-strikeout club, doing so with 212 K’s in 2012.
9. Brandon Moss – 1B
After three seasons with the Athletics, his fourth team since 2007, Moss was traded to the Indians last December for pitcher Joe Wendle and is currently hitting .251 with 11 homers and 35 RBI in 58 games.
Speedy outfielder Rajai Davis was sent to Toronto in November 2010 after Oakland acquired David DeJesus from Kansas City. After two-plus adequate seasons with the A’s, he’s racked up 175 stolen bases in three seasons with the Blue Jays and one-plus year with Detroit.
Two years after signing a four-year, $16 million extension, Oakland sent catcher Kurt Suzuki to Washington in exchange for minor league catcher David Freitas. He has since moved on to Minnesota, where he received his first All-Star selection in 2014.
Infielder Jack Hannahan is the second of three non-active player on the All-Athletics Traded Team, having last played in the bigs in 2014 with the Reds. The St. Paul, Minnesota native spent two-plus seasons with Oakland (2007-09) before moving to Seattle for pitcher Justin Souza in July 2009.
Jeff Samardzija – RHP
Jeff Samardzija leads the All-Athletics Traded Team staff. Contrary to popular belief that he signed with the White Sox as a free agent, the former Cubs pitcher was actually traded last December in a six-player deal that included four South Side prospects. He only spent five months on the A’s roster.
Gio Gonzalez – LHP
Oakland has made some stunning trades over the last decade and the Gio Gonzalez deal in 2011 ranks among the biggest shockers. After four seasons with the A’s, the last two of which concluded with him boasting an ERA in the low 3.00’s, he was traded, along with Robert Gilliam, to Washington for Derek Norris, Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole.
Dan Haren – RHP
Haren was the biggest piece of that 2007 deal with Arizona, a move that came just months after grabbing his first All-Star nod. He would receive two more All-Star selections with the Diamondbacks before becoming a journeyman, playing with the Angels, Nationals, Dodgers and now Marlins since his three years in Oakland.
Tommy Milone – LHP
Milone was a key ingredient in the Gio Gonzalez trade, coming to Oakland along with fellow All-Athletics Traded Team player Derek Norris. The A’s dealt Milone last summer to Minnesota in an odd move to re-acquire speedy outfielder Sam Fuld.
Brett Anderson – LHP
Anderson was also involved in the 2007 Haren, Gonzalez, Carter blockbuster. The 2008 Olympian spent five years with the A’s and while he was effective in the starting rotation, constant injuries forced him start only 54 games from 2010-2013. He has started 13 games for the Dodgers this season, recording a 3.43 ERA in 76 innings pitched.
Huston Street – RHP
Huston Street was another piece of that 2008 Matt Holliday-Carlos Gonzalez deal. The former 2005 AL Rookie of the Year would be named to two All-Star teams (2012, 2014) in becoming one of the better closers in baseball.
Brad Ziegler – RHP
After two-plus seasons with Oakland, sidewinding right-hander Brad Ziegler was dealt to Arizona in July 2011 for Brandon Allen and Jordan Noberto. Since 2009, he has never pitched in less than 64 ballgames or recorded an ERA over 3.50.
Craig Breslow – LHP
Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow is now with his seventh big league club, with the fifth stop being Oakland, where pitched in 202 games from 2009-2011. He and promising arm Trevor Cahill were traded to Arizona at the conclusion of the 2011 season for Ryan Cook, Jarrod Parker and Colin Cowgill.
Trevor Cahill – RHP
Cahill was easily the most valuable piece of that 2011 trade, one that came just two weeks before they sent Gio Gonzalez to Washington. Cahill’s departure came one year after he started 30 games and recorded a 2.97 ERA, earning a spot on the 2010 All-Star team. He spent the first five years of his career as a starter but has since made 28 relief appearances, including 12 this season, thus leading to his inclusion on the All-Athletics Traded Team bullpen staff.
Vin Mazzaro – RHP
Vin Mazzaro is far from a household name, but remains a viable bullpen arm, evident by his fantastic 2013 season with Pittsburgh in which he appeared in 57 games and finished with a 2.81 ERA. He was traded to the Royals in the David DeJesus trade in November 2010 after struggling to hold down a spot in the Oakland rotation in 2009 and 2010.
Travis Blackley – LHP
Left-hander Travis Blackley is the third and final non-active MLB player on the 25-man roster. He last appeared in an MLB game in 2013 with the Texas Rangers and is currently in the Miami Marlins system. In April 2013, Blackley was traded from Oakland to Houston for outfielder Jack Goebbert.
Josh Outman – LHP
Outman, a former Phillies prospect, was acquired by Oakland in 2008 for pitcher Joe Blanton. He would miss the entire 2010 season due to Tommy John surgery before pitching 58 innings (nine starts) and recording a 3.70 ERA in 2011. Outman was traded again, along with pitcher Guillermo Moscoso, this time landing in Colorado in January 2012 for outfielder Seth Smith. He spent 2014 with the Indians and Yankees before signing with Atlanta, where he landed on the 60-day DL and has not appeared in a game.
Tyson Ross – RHP
82 of Tyson Ross’ 133 career appearances have come as a starter but we’re planning to stretch him out as a long reliever. After three years with Oakland, Ross was traded to San Diego in 2012, along with minor league infielder A.J. Kirby-Jones for Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner.
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