So, yeah...remember when Jon Daniels seemed to be collecting catchers?
Billy Beane seems to be doing the same thing with speedy second basemen.
He traded Matt Murton for Corey Wimberly today (and by the way...anyone still want to trade Marlon Byrd for Murton straight up?). Wimberly's stats can be found here. Zero power, draws a few walks, but his calling card is that he's stolen 181 bases in 354 career games as a pro.
The Rich Harden deal, which brought Murton to Oakland in the first place, also brought to Oakland second baseman Eric Patterson. He's a second baseman (and outfielder) who doesn't really walk much, and who has a little power, with a couple of 40+ steal seasons in the lower minors and 29 steals against 3 CSs between AAA and the majors in 2008.
The A's first round draft pick this past year -- and a guy they supposedly targeted in the draft -- was Jemile Weeks, a speedy, athletic college second baseman who is terrific on the basepaths.
And the Joe Blanton trade brought to Oakland Adrian Cardenas, a second baseman who doesn't necessarily have the speed or athleticism of the other guys I've listed, but who is nonetheless considered a quality basestealer.
It makes you wonder...is this coincidence?
I've said before that defense is the new OBP, and every around the league seems to be jumping on that bandwagon...is speed now the new defense?