So, as suspected, Sean Gallagher is the PTBNL going to San Diego in the Scott Hairston trade. This makes this roughly the equivalent of the Rangers giving up Matt Harrison, Tommy Hunter, and Michael Schlacht...raise your hand if you think that would have been a good deal for the Rangers.
There was some praise for Billy Beane on getting Hairston, but he seems like a nice but somewhat fungible bat, a guy you can plug in as a role player on a good team, but also someone who, at age 29, isn't getting any better and is just getting more expensive. And with a team that can't find regular playing time for Travis Buck and Aaron Cunningham, you kind of have to wonder what the point is.
Dan Szymborski goes so far as to suggest that the A's may need to move on without Beane:
Still, you get the sense that the front office the last 18 months or so has been reduced to making decisions merely on the tactical level, a la Dan O'Dowd. A lot of the moves the A's have made have been positive in a completely isolated sense, such as the Holliday trade, but don't seem to fit into a long-term strategic framework. As I suggest in the title, maybe it's time the A's move another direction in regards to team management. I think Beane's been a great GM for the team overall, but after an extremely long stint, one has to wonder if the A's wouldn't be better off if they had someone making personnel decisions that had a few more big ideas that they're just itching to implement. Creative energy can become stagnant, no matter how talented the individual in question is.
Beane has been so good, so long, that there seems to be a willingness in some quarters to give him a pass on deals like this. If Beane is letting Gallagher et al go, then they must not be very good (never mind that Gallagher was, along with Matt Murton, one of the key pieces to the Rich Harden trade last season). And Hairston...well, he's got value, he gets on base, he's not TOO expensive, clearly the Padres must have screwed up.
But for a team that isn't going anywhere this season, you have to wonder what the point of dealing three decent (if low-ceiling) pitching prospects for someone like Hairston is.