Sabean addresses Lincecum trade rumors
Would the A's or Giants oppose a Brandon Moss-Brandon Belt swap? (USA TODAY IMAGES)
The Giants acquired Darren Lewis following his rookie season with the A's in exchange for Ernest Riles in December of 1990. (FLEER)
We can’t help ourselves. The baseball season is long -- sometimes stultifyingly so -- so when we get bored we haul out the old A’s-Giants comparisons. Particularly when bad-team-becomes-good-team-while-good-team-becomes-bad-team, as is occurring now.
These are called “talkers,” and are meant to generate conversation, though they rarely do, because the A’s and Giants do so little business that it is as if they are in different sports. The last time they made a trade, it was the legendary Darren Lewis-Earnest Riles deal in December of 1990, and only two trade partners have gone longer without exchanging humans.
This is plainly wrong, and given that Billy Beane and Brian Sabean do not share the same animus that their superiors do toward each other, a deal should be made to occur now, and for the best reason of all.
And we’re not talking about Tim Lincecum or Hunter Pence, though those would be hilarious talkers, and would make both fan bases explode their own heads. The A’s don’t need rotation or bullpen help, though pitching is something that most general managers tend to hoard as though they were old folks who keep too many cats.
In addition, they are fairly well fixed for outfielders, especially ones who come cheaper than Pence.
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In short, this would have to be more of what old-timers used to call a cat-and-dog trade -- you know, a Lewis-Riles deal.
So what could be done? Oh, you could concoct a Brandon swap with Moss and Belt, which would give the Giants a bit more power and the A’s a better glove, a stuffed giraffe outlet and tedious debates about body language. You could give the A’s an extra left-handed reliever -– say, Jeremy Affeldt or Javier Lopez -– because Jerry Blevins and Sean Doolittle are probably one situational lefty too few. And hey, maybe Marco Scutaro misses those breakfasts at Lois the Pie Queen’s.
The Giants, for their part, need prospects more than anything else, and Grant Green and Sonny Gray have been perpetual names, if nothing else. But the A’s seem attached to Gray more than Green (make your own puns here), so what we are coming to discover is that there is no obvious match between the two teams, even though one is probably buying and the other is almost surely selling.
Thus, Riles and Lewis remain items of interest in the BaseballReference.com diaspora.
Besides, we are in a sad state indeed if we are waiting for the teams’ two invisible owners, John-Boy Fisher and Charlie Johnson to get involved. They are too busy not talking to each other about San Jose to even engage on a trivial level –- even if it was just a oh-the-hell-with-it Bobby Evans-for-David Forst deal, or a more liquor-fueled Kuiper-for-Kuiper deal (the A’s would probably have to throw in Roxy Bernstein, cash and two interns to be named later to make that work, and you know how the A’s hate to part with cash).
[RELATED: Five keys to the A's second half]
In short, we have nothing for you on this vital matter. Riles and Lewis remain safe -– though maybe we’ll get lucky enough for the White Sox and Tigers to do a deal, and better yet, the Angels and Astros. This matters only because the last Chicago-Detroit deal was in 1989, with the key acquisition being future Sox general manager Kenny Williams, and the Astros and Angels exchanged Ken Forsch and Dickie Thon in 1981.
If they can be coaxed to become dance partners, Ernest Riles and Darren Lewis will become the key components in the oldest deal between trade partners in Major League Baseball.
If that floats your Buick in the quiet times, that is.