Sorry this response was a little delayed, but I've been laugh-crying for three days after reading these tweets.
So, the A's just traded a consensus top 10 prospect for a 2 year shot at greatness. Therefore GMDM... uh I mean Billy Beane... is a genius.— Russell A. Carleton (@pizzacutter4) July 5, 2014
Is it me, or did Billy Beane just make basically the same trade that Dayton Moore got eviscerated for 15 months ago?— Matt Meyers (@mtmeyers) July 5, 2014
Oh boy. Okay, so those guys were obviously just hyperbolically comparing the A's acquisition of Jeff Samardzija to the Wil Myers-James Shields trade of 2012, but they might have gotten a little carried away.
*Read FanGraphs' Dave Cameron's take on the trade here.
Normally, I tend to side with the statisticians. In my opinion, the more information, the better. However, the notion that the Samardzija deal affects the A's in a less positive manner because their win curve was already very high makes no sense to me.
Sure, he might not make Oakland much more likely to win the West and secure the top seed in the AL, but in a seven game series, win curves don't seem very relevant. You can make the argument that if something is true over a long period of time -- like the regular season -- then it is more than likely going to be true over a shorter period -- like a playoff series -- but that just sounds like an excuse for relying on small sample sizes. After all, Billy Beane has already proven that his shit works during the regular season. What he cares about is the playoffs.
Having Samardzija in their rotation for what is all but certain to be a playoff run is much more sensible than betting your best prospect -- and a few other valuable pieces -- on a team coming off of a 72-90 finish in 2012. That's what Moore did, of course, and it is decidedly not the same as Billy Beane's decision to trade Addison Russell and others for not one, but two starting pitchers that can start games for his club in a playoff series. Remember, Jason Hammel was also shipped to Oakland in the deal.
Some people -- like Baseball Prospectus' Joe Hamrahi -- liked both trades for both teams. Fair enough, but if I had to chose between the two, I'd chose the trade that benefitted a playoff team rather than a hopeful playoff team.
Again, Russell Carleton and Matt Meyers were just comparing the two trades -- and both of them are fantastic -- but the fact that someone out there in the world compared Dayton Moore (613-771, .442) to Billy Beane (1452-1227, .542) just seems absurd. They are so fundamentally different that the minor similarities in the details of these two isolated deals, while legitimately suggested, are painfully comical for Royals fans.