The A's are once again doing that thing they do every few years, where they trade away every half-decent player on the big-league roster in an attempt to get their payroll expenses about on par with those you might find on the books of a local Taco Bell franchise. This happens so frequently that it barely even registers outside of the most devoted segments of the A's fanbase. The team really has made giving up into a science, which perhaps helps explain the nature of their most recent cost-cutting trade.
The A's traded starting pitcher Sean Manaea to the San Diego Padres yesterday for a pair of prospects. The details of the deal itself aren't all that fascinating, save for one: The trade was executed just five hours before Manaea was set to start a spring training game against the Padres. Not wanting to have Manaea skip a scheduled start, the Padres decided to send Manaea out to the mound to pitch against the A's, the team that had employed him just hours previous. It made for kind of a strange scene:
Manaea had a fairly uneventful outing, surrendering six hits and one run in 3.2 innings of work. Afterward, he got to hang out with his former teammates. They must have had so much to catch up on, given how long it had been since they'd seen each other:
We will not praise the A's for continuing to tear down what was a competitive baseball team just so that John Fisher can make even more money that he does not need, but we must tip our cap to them for making this trade as hassle-free as possible for everyone involved. I like to imagine that GM David Forst woke up yesterday morning, slightly hung over, realizing that he still needed to move Manaea but not wanting to deal with the logistics of getting him through his final spring training start and booked to travel to his new team by the end of the day. Maybe Frost looked at the schedule, saw the Padres listed as the day's opponent, and thought, Aw hell, I'll call them up and see if they want him. Maybe I'll get a special treat for saving money on airfare.