Billy Beane Talks To Athletics Nation

General manager Billy Beane spoke to Tyler Bleszinski of Athletics Nation about a week ago.  Check out the interview here and here.  A few hot stove-related highlights:

  • Beane was told the A's were the runners-up in the Aroldis Chapman bidding.  He said "I think we got slightly outbid" by the Reds' six-year, $30.25MM offer to the Cuban lefty.
  • Center fielder Coco Crisp, signed to a one-year, $5.5MM deal, was considered "good value relative to the cost."  Beane admitted that the A's probably will not be able to afford to re-sign Crisp if he has a healthy season.  While there was trade interest in Rajai Davis, Beane is looking for continuity.
  • Beane was frank in saying that he expects to "follow the cycle" of the last 10-15 years if the team does not get a new venue.  That implies trading Ben Sheets and/or other veterans in July if the team falls out of contention, but conversely making acquisitions if the A's are still in the hunt.
  • Brad Pitt met with Beane in preparation for the actor's role in the Moneyball movie.  Beane described Pitt as "very down-to-earth."


68 Responses to Billy Beane Talks To Athletics Nation Leave a Reply

  1. 04Forever 5 years ago

    hey beane, when are all these trades and low cost high reward deals going to start actually working for the team, that would be my question

    • “04Forever” you must be a Boston fan and are one of those “RINGS OR THE YEAR IS A FAIL” types. Most teams dont operate like that. Without Beane the A’s would be like the Royals and Pirates and entering their 20+ year of mediocrity. Instead we have a stack of playoff appearances and are still a team (contraction is a worry).

      • 04Forever 5 years ago

        im just going to side step the first sentence because its stupid thing to say. most teams dont operate that way because they fiscally cant, like the A’s for example, but to say that its not a team goal to win a ring is really dumb, every player even on the athletics will say thats why they play everyday. and i dont know what makes you think the Athletics are any better then the other teams you mentioned considering all three of them put up the same similar wins and losses every year now for the past 3 years for the exception of one i believe. These moves havent paid off at all yet and you cant tell me your happy with three losing seasons in a row. Beane should be worried for his job this year in my opinion

        • 04Forever 5 years ago

          correction: the athletics have had losing seasons over the last 3 years

          • They have had rosters that could contend though. The losing seasons over the last 3 years have been due to injury (07+08) and underperformance (09). Beane never fields a team that cant compete for the division. The A’s have the best pitching 1-12 in the AL West if healthy, this is not up for argument.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            Lee, Felix, Bedard > Sheets, Braden, Duch

            Ill take the Mariners rotation when Lee and Bedard get healthy every day of the week and twice on saturday, you have the best for now, but not for long

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            what part of 1-12 don’t you get?

            that is accounting for the bullpens. and i think their isn’t a soul out their that will disagree with the sentiment : A’s have the AL west’s best bullpen.

            the rotation isn’t anything to sneeze at either.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            ill give you that sure, the athletics have a great bullpen on paper going into this year if you go by last years numbers

          • RESPECT BRETT ANDERSON OR PERISH. Seriously, he is the A’s Felix. Dusch is the Lee. Sheets and Braden are going to be the 3-4 by June.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            You think Brett Anderson is even on the same level as Felix? Now you just sound insane. Youll be lucky if Duschs arm doesnt fall off, along with Sheets (but dont worry, odds are he will be traded by Beane to get more prospects to do the same silly thing again next year)

          • See, now youre just a hater. I knew it from your first post. GTFO out of this thread, it has nothing to do with your team.

          • You also know nothing about baseball if you dont think Brett Anderson will be in the Cy race this year. Watch the game on Thursday, I dare you.

        • 04Forever 5 years ago

          example, the marlins spent no money this year at all and will probably have a better year then the athletics by at the very least 5 games. we should knock Beane off the pedestal and put Beinfest and Hill on it

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            Beinfest is a genius. He doesn’t get nearly the recognition he deserves.

            All things considered Beane is a very solid GM. However, his prestige has taken a hit. The A’s haven’t been good for 3 years now. Don’t think 2010 will be any different. They do have a strong core of young minor league talent. Unfortunately, the AL West continues to get more and more competitive.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            also, unfortunately, Beane will trade them as soon as they come up.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            thank you! finally someone with sense

        • Derek Florko 5 years ago

          Beane is a Part owner so unless he fires himself he is pretty safe. Look back at the years before the last 3 and say it never works. give your head a shake

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            He is the minority owner, Lewis Wolff could still fire him as the GM I think since he and his partners are the majority owners. and sure they had some success, why do you think people think so highly of Beane? But that doesnt mean that his efforts to rebuild a contending club have worked. They are in a wide open division this year and if they dont make the playoffs, his job and ability to do it should be questioned. He was a good GM through thick and a poor GM through thin, thats all im saying

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            after second thinking the divisions probably not “wide open” if the Mariners and the Rangers fire on all cylinders, and the Angels will have enough juice to be a threat as well, its not wide open but I honestly think they had a good chance this year to compete against alot of question mark teams in the division this summer

          • alxn 5 years ago

            You need to think before you make these ridiculous claims. First of all, the A’s have one of the best farm systems in the league. It would be stupid for a small market team to start trading prospects so they can try and compete. They traded for Holliday in an attempt to compete and it didn’t work out so well. Luckily they were able to retain some of the value at the deadline. The window to compete for small market teams only remains open for so long. The A’s window from the early 2000’s has closed for now, but if their prospects pan out they could have another chance to compete. If you expect them to compete with a bunch of bargain bin free agent signings then you are crazy.

            If you want to start finding reasons to fire Beane, then you should start by listing the albatross contracts he has signed players to over the past 3 years and the players he has traded away that have gone on to be successful elsewhere. You aren’t going to find very many of either.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            good i love it when people like you are so blatantly wrong that i laugh while typing.link to sportsillustrated.cnn.com…tell me whom the number one ranked farm system in the league is after you read that article, and it IS stupid to trade young talent, but I never said they Beane should do that anywhere on this thread did I? and that is exactly what Beane has done, case and point in the god awful Matt Holliday trade, thats something you just write off, thats a sizable screw-up for Beane who is supposed to be the master at that kind of thing when every sportscaster said it was stupid, and you didnt retain value, your lucky you didnt get stuck with him the whole year. I dont expect them to compete with bargain bin players, and thats the whole point. he signs them in the hopes they play well so he can trade for guys he thinks have talent and he has been spinning his wheels now for three years. lastly, i dont need to “find” a reason to fire Beane, three losing seasons with “the best farm in the league” is good enough for me. Either Beane has lost it or never had it at all

          • alxn 5 years ago

            I’m not even going to bother with you. You’re clearly misinformed, you’re treating one sports writer’s opinion like it is gospel, and you are misquoting me and accusing me of doing things I have never done.

        • Well I can easily counter with “when are all these trades and low cost high reward deals going to start actually working for the team?” is a REALLY stupid thing to say, and my first post actually explains why.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            its stupid when its not working and your in the same position you were every year for three years with little to no improvement. and your first post explains jack, my name is 04Forever, duh of course im a sox fan, and i loved my team when they were losers and now have a reason to love them more, how you can say “rings or fail” to sox fan when we have waited as long as we have? Beane does all the work he does and finishs just like the Royals and Pirates whom do nothing every year to fix their teams. facts are stubborn but its true

          • Except Beane has like 6 playoff appearances in 11 years. Wanna talk about waiting? Try 21 years now. I dont care about Boston, they won and now the whole country pretty much hates them because they went from lovable losers to Yankees 2.0. “facts are stubborn but its true”.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            sure some fans got arrogant, but it doesnt mean anything i said about Beane is a lie, everything ive said is true whether you turn a blind eye to it or not.

          • No, its clearly not. Beane traded Swisher for Sweeney, who had a better WAR than Swisher last year. Every player Beane has jettisoned has NOT lived up to their contracts or been a disappointment in some way. You have no idea about non-Boston based teams and are one of the worst posters on here, get out of threads that dont concern you.

          • 04Forever 5 years ago

            your a bit of a sensitive person arent you? now your just throwing out absurd sutff that one year of WAR stats completely makes Beane a genius on one trade. this is going to be my last post on this thread because its crazy you came back here after 24 hours to try to bash me for having an opinion, so now im done with this topic because I said my piece you said yours, you can say what you want about me, but im done with you.

  2. bigpat 5 years ago

    The only veteran player he brought in who made an impact recently was Frank Thomas, and that was a while ago. They have a nice group of prospects and some decent pichers, but they haven’t been able to find the right guys to supplement them, and their lineup is terrible. Chris Carter needs to be up very soon.

  3. The Eric Chavez contract has really killed them. Imagine if they had an extra $66 million over the past 5 seasons.

    • Right, but that contract was very valid when it was signed. No one saw Chavez as an injury risk going into it.

      • I guess. Considering the big talent they’ve let go via trade and FA, Chavez was probably the least valuable of the group.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          He kept the right guy.

          • Miguel Tejada might disagree with you.

          • Beane knew about steroids and how shady a person Miggy was/is, plus Bobby Crosby was supposed to win the MVP (according to Gammons). Its like the A’s are cursed sometimes…

  4. mattinglyfan 5 years ago

    I think the A’s are almost there, close to contending, but staying in Oakland isn’t an option imo, they should relocate somewhere else. Maybe Las Vegas, Portland, San Antonio, somewhere where people might actually care about them and spend money and it wouldn’t screw up the divisions, and they can stay in the West.

    • dailyboxscores 5 years ago

      I remember a couple of years ago, the A’s were in talks with Fremont, CA, to build a stadium there, so they could attract more of the San Jose/Palo ALto crowd on a nightly basis.

      What ever became of that possibility? It sounded perfect to me. Sitting between Oakland and San Jose, to draw from both cities.

      • zonis 5 years ago

        read this website: link to newballpark.org

        In a nutshell, the plan in Fremont fell to NIMBY’s and big box stores protesting, and derailed the plans. MLB and Bud Selig created a committee to see the about the viability of building a stadium in the A’s territory, which then was expanded to the include San Jose as a possible location (though this is Giants territory, though ironically enough, they got it for free from the A’s when they were trying to build in San Jose). The committee has been working for over a year, and many believe that the report is already done, and that they have decided on San Jose (which already has the land available, in downtown location, next to an arena already, and a massive transit hub) and that the delay is Selig trying to get consensus from the owners to overturn the Giants territorial rights and then decide on their compensation.

    • Well maybe if insane person Al Davis moves the Raiders back to LA (where they belong, imo), the A’s could just remodel or tear down the current Coliseum and build a new one.

      Plain and simple, Al Davis ruined that park for baseball. It used to be one of the most pretty places to watch a game in the league, now its the worst.

  5. markjsunz 5 years ago

    As an old time baseball fan I found money ball to be on the cutting edge of the way general managers run there teams. Beane, Bill James and the other so called stat geeks were ahead of there time.Beane runs the Oakland franchise under great financial restraint. Compared to other franchises the A`s may not be the glamor team of baseball,
    but the owner makes a profit and Beane and his crew run the team with the best talent based on what he has to work with. And who knows maybe one of these years everything may fall in line and maybe Oakland wins a title.Of course the oakland teams of the 70`s with charley `O Finley as the owner could not sell out the stadium for the world series games. Can not wait to see the movie.

    • I think the Money Ball days are over. Most of those “brilliant” signings and picks didn’t really work out.

      • ellisburks 5 years ago

        Money Ball isn’t over because it is a strategy built on finding what other teams undervalue and drafting and signing those players that fit the mould. It is not a fixed thing but a fluid thing. First it was base on balls and power, now it is defence and pitching. The A’s have done that and they will get better soon and start making the playoffs again.

        • But my point is that his prime examples of “Money Ball” in the book didn’t really pan out. If you think the A’s will make the playoffs this season, you’ve got to stop drinking the Billy Beane kool aid…

          • dailyboxscores 5 years ago

            I believe that Arte Moreno purchasing the Angels and infusing some cash into the team personnel has had a lot to do with the A’s no longer “Moneyballing” (I just created a verb?) their way into the playoffs.

            Moreno bought the Angels in April 2003. Take a look at the AL West winners from 2000-now:
            2000: Oakland
            2001: Seattle
            2002: Oakland
            2003: Oakland <-Moreno buys Angels
            2004: Angels
            2005: Angels
            2006: Oakland
            2007: Angels
            2008: Angels
            2009: Angels

          • Certainly a franchise getting better, like the Angels, has hurt the A’s cause–but I’m also trying to make the point that “Money Ball” doesn’t really work.

          • I think the Angels winning the last 3 AL west titles has more to do with the ineptitude of the other 3 teams than the Angels actually doing it right. You can’t be a legit contender if your Runs Scored/Runs Allowed ratio is as bad as the Angels always is.

        • Theo Epstein = Moneyball. He uses literally everything Beane does only has an unlimited budget. Ever since the Youkilis thing went down Theo just looks at what Beane is trying to do and uses actual money to get the best out of it. Beane said it best after the 03 playoffs “Just give me the money the other teams have and I’ll give you a championship.” Theo has that money, and the championships.

          • Sort of. “Money Ball” is about getting value–not sure signing Lackey, Beckett, Ortiz, Drew, Lowell, Varitek, Dice-K, etc to full market value (or above in some cases) is really following that strategy.

          • Theo’s version is complimenting the best players he can get with pieces that are undervalued. Its like the Moneyball dream scenario. Gotta say the Yankees are doing it too somewhat, they havent had a Pavano bad sign lately. Its really just smart GMing at its base.

      • markjsunz 5 years ago

        For A team like oakland who does not sign top draft pick players if they are seeking big money, or can not afford a prized free agent, and they have to take players from the scrap heap they do well. As far as Bill James, and the whole money ball thing as you can tell from the guys who post comments on MLB trade rumors it has become a part of the culture. As a fan in the early 60`s and reading stats from the sunday paper and the back of baseball cards as I was growing up it is not my cup of tea but the culture of baseball is changing. You have a pitcher like Josh Beckett who gets a 4 year 70 million dollar contract and his record with the red sox while giving up over 4 runs a game is about two to one win loss ratio. If a guy had an ERA like that a few years back he would be barely hanging on in the major leagues. Today he is considered an ace.The standards have changed as well as how a players preformance is messured. Someone will send me a response that will say that giving up 4 runs a game is not how you meassure preformance. Based on the contract the red sox gave to Beckett it is a safe bet that alot of the things learned from money ball were used in deciding to give him his contract.

        • I think it’s a pretty silly point to say, “If a guy had an ERA like that a few years back he would be barely hanging on in the major leagues.”

          If we were talking about Oliver Perez, I would agree–but Josh Beckett has actually been an ace. Even using “old” stats like wins and ERA, Beckett has averaged 16 wins and a 4 ERA in his past four seasons in the AL East. He also owns a career 3.82 ERA and 1331 K’s, and has helped two different team win the World Series.

          Maybe a 4 ERA would not have been great in a different decade, but every period of baseball has their own level of play.

          • markjsunz 5 years ago

            I think my e-mail pointed out that baseball is changing and yes a 4.05 ERA a few years back you would be a back of the bullpen type.
            The quality of pitching is so diluted that beckett is considered an ace. Of course he is a product of his generation.

          • Can you be a little more specific when you say “a few years back?” Are you talking 20 years or more?

          • Your point is also wrong because you can’t just plot a player from one generation to another. Saying, “Beckett would be in the back of a bullpen a few years ago” is just flat out stupid. If you were to accurately take a player from this generation and place him in a different one, you would have to match up the league averages from that generation to this one, and adjust Beckett’s stats accordingly. Seeing as Beckett is an elite pitcher now, he would also be one then too.

          • markjsunz 5 years ago

            Or the quality of pitching has regressed over the last generation or two. When you start seeing more and more beer league type scores what else could it be? Again back to my original point 80 million for 4 years and the guy gives up over 4 runs a game since the red sox signed him, yet becketts win to loss ratio is two to one. The Red sox have one of the better staffs in baseball it does not say much for major league pitching. That does not matter fans love offense anyway.

  6. not_brooks 5 years ago

    I thought this was going to be about the last minute decision to DFA Cust and put Chavez in the DH spot full time. Has anyone asked Beane about that yet?

    • I was REALLY hoping he would talk about that too.

      • It’s referenced a little bit in the first link.

        • Thanks, Tim.

          While he “addresses” it, it still doesn’t make sense. He makes it seem like Chavez has been this dependable player for them, when Cust, in actuality, is the guy who has been providing the long ball for the past three seasons. Considering both Fox and Patterson are able to play OF (or at the very least, provide 4th and 5th OFer insurance), Gabe Gross is still the obvious weak link.

          • asfan2010 5 years ago

            I think they are just attempting to get some value out of chavez,since his contract is going no where, i dont completely agree with it, but there is some logic there. If he gets injured again cust is there to be called up if he accepts his minor league assignment. Fox and Patterson have great minor league track records, but all their value is tied into their bats. They have been forced to multiple positions due to their defensive weaknesses. Gross was part of their emphasis on defense, at 700,000 or so it isnt a terrible risk for a backup OF. Essentially these are just temporary till carter, taylor, donaldson, brown, weeks, cardenas, green, sogard, doolittle etc among their next wave of hitters. A’s have been aggressive with their pitching promotions anderson, cahill, gio, mazzaro, bailey ,etc. Even Tyson Ross who only had 30 innings at the AA level and made the team. We’ll see how they compliment pretty solid players like Suzuki, Sweeney, and Barton (who’s a potential breakout candidate). Also still waiting for Travis Buck to show something. The A’s have the lowest AL payroll for 2010. Along with a huge chunk of money to spend after 2010 + the infusion of prospect hitters, so IMO there is optimism there. Of course long term they need to solve the stadium issue.

          • “I think they are just attempting to get some value out of chavez,since his contract is going no where, i dont completely agree with it, but there is some logic there.”

            I think getting value for that horrendous contract is impossible. Even if he had a league-average season, which he won’t, it still wouldn’t makeup for paying him $66 million.

            Also, why not get the “value” out of Cust’s contract. Unlike Chavez, you know that Cust will give you a .350 OB and at least 25 HR. With Chavez, you’ll be lucky if he crack 10 HR with a .300 OB.

            I agree that Gross is a defensive move, but he’s not starting. As a 4th OFer, he is not going to make nearly as much of an impact as someone who starts everyday. Also, when Coco Crisp comes back, he’ll be a 5th OFer.

          • EdinsonPickle 5 years ago

            Well Cust has certainly been the main power guy in Oakland for the past couple seasons, but his numbers have been steadily declining, and as asfan stated they want to get something out of that big contract. Plus if Chavez’s health can be preserved in a DH role he may be able to put up some nice numbers.

          • I don’t see how you can make that point about Cust, but somehow have faith in Chavez. We are talking about the same Eric Chavez, right?

          • EdinsonPickle 5 years ago

            Well it’s true what I said about Cust, and I don’t have a lot of faith in Chavez, but I’m if he stays healthy in the DH role for 162 games you don’t think he can put up some decent numbers? I’m not saying he will be in the running for MVP or anything like that.

          • I think even if he were to play 162 games, which he 100% will not, he will be luck to post more than 15 HR and a .300 OB. He’s just not good anymore.

          • asfan2010 5 years ago

            So what would you do, just let 12 million rot away on the bench? They still want to evaluate him just like any other player. Like i said, i dont completely agree with the move, but there is some reasoning to it. I’m not really sure what you want here, did you want to give cust 500 + ab’s? I’d rather chavez take away some of cust DH AB’s then have him further stall Daric Barton’s progress at 1b. I also dont think they intend to play chavez everyday either, after so much time off with injuries the last several years. At the same time, they could probably also rotate several players at DH with Jake Fox too and possibly Cust later on. Ialso think this was a move for roster flexibility once Crisp went down with injury. Players like rosales, buck who werent going to make it on the team suddenly did along with fox/patterson.

          • I’d rather they just release Chavez, but Beane is too loyal to his “friends”.

  7. Redhawk 5 years ago

    Worst baseball stadium in the majors. (Well, Tampa and Miami have new stadiums on the way.) Until the A’s fix the stadium, they don’t have a chance to have enough money to compete.

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