General managers Brian Cashman and Dave Dombrowski may have made the splashiest moves thus far into the offseason. But Athletics GM Billy Beane is getting serious work done under the fold, building what's beginning to look like the best team in the American League.
On Tuesday, Oakland further strengthened what was already an excellent bullpen by acquiring reliever Luke Gregerson in exchange for outfielder Seth Smith. That was Beane's second move of the day, following a trade for outfielder Craig Gentry. To begin the week, the A's added starting pitcher Scott Kazmir and closer Jim Johnson to the roster.
Smith didn't have a great season, batting .253 with eight home runs, 40 RBI and a .721 OPS in 410 plate appearances. But he had a strong postseason, compiling a .313/.353/.500 slash average and providing one of Oakland's most dangerous bats versus the Tigers in the ALDS. That performance may have been enough for Beane to swap Smith for Gregerson, arguably one of the best setup relievers in the National League. Considering Smith no longer really had a role with the A's, this trade looks like a steal.