TheYanks04 wrote:Except Mulder was not a free agent until the ennd of 06. He could have waited on him. He also could have held ot with Hudson and traded him to a contender before the deadline this year. For all the BS of Moneyball, it still comes down to you get what you pay for. No Tejada, no Mulder, no Hudson = one crummy team.
He was capitalizing on inefficiencies in the market, particularly the pitching market. Did you see what marginal pitchers were going for this offseason? Pavano, Wright, Ortiz, Lowe, etc etc. He was dangling two pitchers out there who were far more appealing than most every FA that was out there. This offseason was the best time to move the two guys he knew he couldn't keep. And, like others have said, deadline deals sound great, but you rarely get as much value in return because of the impending deadline and fear of not getting a deal done at all.
Pedantic wrote:Argh. For the last time, Mulder was going to be a free agent after '05. There was a club option for '06. Obviously, the A's couldn't afford or weren't willing to pay the money he would get had they picked up the option. The Cardinals have more money to throw around and, therefore, they can afford to pick up his '06 option.
That was as much a factor in the Mulder deal as anything. The option was not going to be exercised by the team so that the "rebuilding" process would not have to be strung out over several years. Mulder and Hudson -- Beane's two biggest bargaining chips -- were going to walk at the end of this year, and rather than keep them and get less at the deadline, the A's moved them during the winter so that the young pitchers would have even more seasoning for the future.