Posted July 09, 2012 on AP on Fox
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JANIE McCAULEY AP Baseball Writer Just like that last winter, the Oakland Athletics traded away three of their best pitchers: All-Stars Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, and 2009 Rookie of the Year closer Andrew Bailey. And in came a crop of new names few people even knew in Josh Reddick, Derek Norris, Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker. Don't forget rookie closer and surprise All-Star Ryan Cook in that mix, either. Seven months later, they are the face of the young A's franchise - and nobody would argue that they exceeded expectations in the first half. Oakland (43-43) is .500 at the All-Star break and won five of its last six games with a cast of constant moving parts. Their eight walkoff wins lead the majors, leaving general manager Billy Beane and his staff quite pleased.
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