Originally Posted by TDog
The A's did that before they put together a winning team. They did that with Orlando Cabrera after his 2008 season with the White Sox. That was a down year for the A's, and everyone knew they were signing him to deal him to a contender midseason. When they traded him the Twins on July 31, 2009, they got minor league infielder Tyler Ladendorf in return.
Who would have been Oakland's shortstop in 2009 had they not signed Cabrera? Did Cabrera needlessly take at-bats away from anybody that might have had a future as the A's shortstop? If he did, then of course the plan was bad, but if he didn't, then the A's made something out of nothing.
Ladendorf didn't work out for the A's, but I still like the idea behind the moves. The A's turned a position where they had absolutely no immediate plan, or future plan for that matter, into a 21 year-old prospect at the deadline. In a go-nowhere season, small organizational victories like this are the only positives that can realistically be expected.