“He came from the Royals, and no-hit the Red Sox …”
Much as I almost convinced myself he would be here for a bit longer, Sean Manaea is now officially an ex-Oakland A. So “ex” in fact that he has already stood on a Cactus League mound and pitched against us.
The news this afternoon (UK time) that Manaea had been traded to the San Diego Padres was tough to take; all the more so considering he ended up changing dugouts and starting today’s game between the two teams for them rather than for us.
The two prospects in return seem somewhat underwhelming, meaning no disrespect to Euribiel Angeles and Adrian Martinez. It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that there was a pressing need to get Manaea’s $9.75M salary off the books immediately rather than holding onto him for a few months and moving him closer to the trade deadline.
I tweeted our popular “Fisher Squirrel” gif in response to the move with him gleefully hording some more acorns/dollars. It’s at 1,500+ views and counting since being posted six hours ago.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I’d expect a few low-value pitching signings if Manaea and/or Montas left the team. The next few days will tell the tale as to whether any of that money is going to be reinvested into the roster or if we are going to head into the season with a $43M Opening Day payroll.
That would be impossible to justify given the national TV money guaranteed to each team and the season ticket prices the A’s are charging. Sadly, it’s the U.S. way that a franchise owner such as John Fisher doesn’t seem to have to justify his actions.
Instead, the Front Office has to work with the budget they are given and trading Manaea ahead of his impending free agency at the end of the season makes sense in that context.
The head understands it; the heart is struggling to cope once more as another favourite ends up wearing another team’s uniform.