Billy Beane just showed you the blueprint.
The Oakland veteran GM built himself a model of young and inexpensive players.
When Beane deemed his vehicle ready to contend for a crown, he put the foot down on the gas pedal. By trading top prospects for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel it looked like the A's were already primed for a title run.
Today Beane flat out gunned it.
In a move that sent shockwaves through the industry, Beane offered up a young All-Star in Yoenis Cespedes in order to take a shot at a high impact rental in Jon Lester.
Yes, the A's already had some young pitching in house, led by former first round pick Sonny Gray. However, Beane knew the AL would be tough to navigate without a more seasoned top of the rotation come October.
The #Athletics indeed made the Jeff Samardzija trade to win the AL West. The Lester trade was made to win the World Series.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 31, 2014
If Beane had any trepidation about Samardzija starting a Game 1, he now looks much better lined up for Game 2. Lester is a bona fide ace, a guy who has titles under his belt and has thrived in the toughest division in all of baseball.
If we are lucky and the plan follows suit, the Cubs will be in the same position one day soon. Jed Hoyer may see his team ready to take their position out of the gate, and he may also crave the need for an ace-type to put them over the top.
The Cubs will likely make a strong push for Lester this off-season. If, however, they come up short once again, I'm not overly concerned. When teams are ready to win like the Red Sox were back in Theo Epstein and Hoyer's heyday in Boston, they find a way to add a Curt Schilling. Teams find a way to add a Lester.
Regardless of payroll flexibility, the Cubs will be rich with currency. Young power hitting, in high demand within the game, will likely be at their disposal. Whether it's this offseason or next, the Cubs will have the fuel to make their move.
So sit back and live a little vicariously through Beane and his A's; deadline days like these for the Cubs could soon be on their radar.
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