Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The Red Sox and Athletics have a weird habit of picking up each other's castoffs. Unfortunately, the Athletics seem to be the ones benefiting so far.
The very nature of Major League Baseball ensures that there will be some level of clumping in the diaspora of any given team. Trades gather players together, free agents only have 29 possible landing spots, and some random chance will prevent an even distribution free of peaks.
Still, the situation going on in Oakland is starting to get a bit silly.
Currently, the Oakland roster includes Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie, Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp, and Bartolo Colon. Hideki Okajima just signed on with a minor league contract as well, and George Kottaras just left.
This has not gone unnoticed by one Jon Couture of Better Red Than Dead, who has gone so far as to create a set of logos should the Athletics decide to just go ahead and embrace their identity as the team that cobbles together our outcasts and then completely and totally outclass us in the course of the regular season. Ouch.
Personally, I'm a fan of the A's elephant standing on top of the Red Sox baseball. First off, it's the only one where the Sox are red. Second, it nicely points out the fact that the Athletics are the ones coming out on top here at our expense--the ex-Sox in question produced 12.5 fWAR for the Athletics last year at a very low price. Once again, ouch.
For their part, the Red Sox are looking a bit Oaklandish as well. Andrew Bailey, of course, came over in the trade that sent Reddick to the Athletics, but Stephen Drew and Jonny Gomes were both signed out of free agency last year. Craig Breslow was a key part of the Oakland bullpen from 2009 to 2011, where Clayton Mortensen occasionally joined him. Even Ryan Sweeney is technically still in the Red Sox fold for the moment.
At the moment, the Oakland Athletics looking like the winners in this relationship. Actually, the impressive performance of Josh Reddick alone combined with how long they have him for is enough for me to say that this relationship is going to fall short of symbiotic for Boston. Still, those are four players pretty much guaranteed to make Boston's 25-man roster, and two more who stand a shot at finding a place on the team. If Gomes and Drew work out at all like the Sox are hoping they will, maybe the Sox can at least even it up a little bit.
Now if only they'd signed Brandon McCarthy, too.