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Monday, December 20, 2004
A's trade Mulder to Cardinals for prospects.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics traded their second top starter in three days, sending left-hander Mark Mulder to the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday for a package of prospects.

Mulder follows Tim Hudson out of town, leaving Barry Zito as the only remaining member of Oakland's vaunted "Big Three" pitchers. Hudson was dealt to Atlanta on Thursday for three mostly unproven players.

"We've had to reinvent ourselves every year," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "This is probably the most drastic. ... There's certainly some sadness losing first Tim and then Mark from a personal standpoint. Unfortunately, this is something we've had to deal with. We're still the Oakland A's. We're still going to go on."

Blowing Up the A's. "The A's could have continued to patch holes with veterans, introduced a couple prospects to the mix each year, and continued to compete for the next several seasons. Maybe they'd win 91 games again in 2005 and another 90 in 2006, perhaps sneaking into the playoffs another time or two. But at some point, the three stud pitchers would be gone, just like Giambi and Tejada before them, and the A's would be left with a shell of a roster. Instead of going through that, Beane decided to blow the whole thing up and start from scratch." (The Hardball Times)

The A's/Cardinals Trade: the St. Louis Perspective. "Some might think this was a panic move by the Cardinals. (Tony La Russa lent credence to that idea with his comments on Saturday night: "You lose the guy who started Game 1 of the World Series [Woody Williams], you lose your catcher [Matheny], your leadoff guy [Womack], your shortstop [Renteria], fans are saying, 'Are we going to do anything? What's happening? What's happening?'") I don't agree that this trade was made under duress, but I do think that Jocketty was overly concerned with finding a so-called big-name pitcher." (The Hardball Times)

Clement, Red Sox close in on contract. Three years, $25 million. (Yahoo!)

Prospectus Triple Play: Florida Marlins, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates. "Ending a three-year quest to be rid of Jason Kendall's six-year, $60 million contract, the Pirates dealt the catcher to the A's in return for pitchers Arthur Rhodes and Mark Redman. Rhodes was in turn dealt for Indians outfielder Matt Lawton, in a straight-up trade, and the Royals sent the Pirates catcher/BALCO witness Benito Santiago in return for prospect Leo Nunez...So with the quest to purge Kendall's contract from the roster completed, the question stands: is Pittsburgh better off with Redman, Lawton, Santiago and the money saved than they would have been with Kendall and Nunez?" (Baseball Prospectus)

Strange Days. "DePodesta must really want Green and Penny out of here. Yes, Green has a bad contract, but he's only owed $16 million for 2005, and then the Dodgers are done with him. The Dodgers are going to end up owing Vasquez as much as twice that amount, and are on the hook with him until 2007. Unless this trade is a pure salary dump (which it may very well be), the only way this makes sense is if the Dodgers use the money to sign at least two of the top remaining free agents, perhaps Clement and Drew, or maybe Delgado. As is stands right now, the Dodger lineup and rotation is headed for a 100-loss season." (On the DL)

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