Some very minor transactional news; the M’s have inked 6 year minor league free agent OF Ryan Balfe and 1B Bucky Jacobsen. Balfe was in Montreal’s system last year, splitting time between three levels, and generally being a spare part 4th OF who can do a little of everything but nothing well. He turns 27 next week. Jacobsen spent the year in Double-A Tennessee with the Cardinals organization, mashing 31 HR’s, drawing walks, and tearing the league up. Unfortunately, he’s already turned 28, and is essentially the new version of A.J. Zapp.
Also, shortstop Ruben Castillo re-signed with the club.
All of these players will likely be assigned to Tacoma next year, so buy your season tickets now!
My question is this: If they were interested in talking to Billy Beane but denied permission by the A’s, why then did they not even attempt to contact his assistant, Paul DePodesta, whose contract expired on October 31st? To me, asking the A’s for permission on Beane is an indication that they think Oakland has a good thing going. Beane and DePodesta are different men, of course, but are more or less cut from the same cloth. If you can’t get the original, why not at least talk to the protege? Grr.
This is what banging my head on my keyboard looks like:
The Seattle Times reports that the GM search is down to three finalists; Benny Looper, Al Avila, and Bill Bavasi. Good candidates like Tim Purpura, Chris Antonetti, and Paul DePodesta were never interviewed. Instead, we get to recycle some old-boy-network scouts. Color me unimpressed.
I guess, at this point, we just hope they sign a short contract. Not surprising, but still disappointing. There will probably have to be a change at the very top before we can purge the organization of the current philosophies.