Exactly seven years ago, the A's signed a 28-year-old named Brandon Moss to a minor-league contract.
Moss hadn't experienced much success in his career, hitting a total of 23 home runs in five MLB seasons. But it all came together his first year in Oakland.
After starting the 2012 season in Triple-A, Moss got called up by the A's and caught fire. He belted 21 home runs and 52 RBI in 84 games, slashing a phenomenal .291/.358/.596.
Moss continued his impressive power-hitting display in 2013, notching a career-high 30 homers and 87 RBI. In 2014, he added another 25 round-trippers and 81 RBI, making his first and only All-Star Game appearance.
The Moss signing has to be considered an incredible success, as Oakland got consistent production for a very low price. Over the course of three seasons in Oakland, the A's paid him a total of just $6.23 million before trading him to Cleveland in December of 2014. Of course, Moss' second stint with the A's did not work out as well and they will still be on the hook for $1 million next season.
So what can we learn from the initial signing of Moss? First, you never know for sure when a player is going to come into his own. Countless major leaguers have failed to produce early in their careers only to put it all together several years later.
Baseball is a funny game. It's hard to explain why a player can struggle for one team only to have great success with another. Sometimes a change of scenery can make a world of difference.
As for Moss, his career appears to be over at the age of 35. In 11 big league seasons, he amassed 160 home runs and 473 RBI.