On Tuesday, the A's bolstered their organizational pitching depth, acquiring left-hander Sean Manaea and right-hander Aaron Brooks, who could potentially join the club from Triple-A Nashville as early as this weekend, when Oakland will have a rotation opening. At the time of the trade, Manaea was ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 4 prospect in Kansas City's farm system.
"Listen, you'd rather be on the other end of it -- that's for sure," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "We've been on both sides during different points of my tenure here. But you also have to be, I think, somewhat pragmatic when evaluating your situation and the organization's situation going forward.
"This season, I think we had high hopes, but we got off on the wrong foot, and then it just seemed to sort of snowball on us. No, it's not the preferred side you'd like to be on, but again, we've been on both sides. What we're doing now is necessary, I think, and probably, again, pragmatic going forward for the overall health of the organization."
Manaea will start his A's tenure at Double-A Midland.
"We like both of them, and it was something that the organization needed, upper-level starters," said Beane. "We've been hurt with injuries, and the depth has been cut into due to some of the injuries, some of the guys not returning.
"Manaea probably would be considered the guy with the most upside, and probably is a guy that, the type of player, we didn't think we could possibly get in this type of deal -- very high-profile kid going into the Draft."
Brooks was 6-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) at Triple-A Omaha, and before the deal, he made two appearances for the Royals, giving up three runs in 4 1/3 innings. Manaea was 1-1 with a 3.69 ERA in three Minor League stops this year after dealing with hip and groin issues.
The A's chipped in more than $2 million in the deal, essentially covering what's left of Zobrist's $7.5 million salary for 2015. The infielder/outfielder, Oakland's prized offseason acquisition, hit .268 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 67 games, missing a month of action after undergoing left knee surgery.
Beane does not expect to engage in any further significant trades ahead of Friday's 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline, noting that he will not be dealing players whom the club anticipates having back next year.
"We may look for guys that could conceivably help us maybe this year, maybe next year," Beane said, "but as far as any other guys that we have returning for us going forward, I don't anticipate anything, any deals, in that sense."