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Grading the Oakland A's Trade Deadline Performance

Jon Lester, former ace of the Boston Red Sox, now heads west to the Oakland Athletics
Jon Lester, former ace of the Boston Red Sox, now heads west to the Oakland Athletics
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The trade deadline is officially over, and Oakland A's fans can finally go take the shower they've been avoiding while hovering over Twitter.

In the last month, the A's have pulled off two major blockbusters, a minor move and three non-moves that lit social media up. Today, Oakland looks like a popular pick for this year's World Series title. After the first trade alone took place, it became clear general manager Billy Beane decided to go all in. Another league-shaking deal later, and he's clearly not bluffing about stacking his cards.

But while the moves are great for 2014, are they worth it in the longer run?

Here are the most significant moves and non-moves, with grades and reaction.

Not many inside Oakland hate this trade. Or, at least, they didn't on July 4 when it happened. The first major blockbuster of the summer came as a complete shock. Beane has coveted prospects for years, rarely trading marquee minor leaguers away for big names. But in this case, he gave up Oakland's two best prospects and a former starter for two marquee trade candidates.

On paper, the A's immediately owned one of the best rotations in the game.

Short term, this is a win for the A's.

However, it's long term that is now a concern. Since coming to Oakland, Hammel has suffered four losses in four starts and currently owns a 9.53 ERA. Samardzija has been dynamite. But he's arbitration eligible soon and should command a huge salary.

To get these two, Oakland gave up Russell, a top prospect in all of baseball and its shortstop of the future. With the additions of McKinney and Straily, the A's minor league depth took a hit.

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