The A's had a marvelous season catapulting into contention in the second half and winning the AL West on the final day with a come-from-behind victory over Texas in front of a raucous crowd at the O.co Coliseum. After Beane totally remade the team, it finished 94-68 following a 74-88 season in 2011. Their 72-38 record after June 1 was the best in the Major Leagues.Beane started this past offseason by trading three of the team's top players: Starters Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill and closer Andrew Bailey. But the players he received in those deals from the D-backs, Nationals and Red Sox became the core of the club surrounding free-agent signee Yoenis Cespedes, the Cuban player, whom he signed for three years and $36 million and proved to be one of the top young talents in the Majors this past season. Recent winners of the Sporting News award have been Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers and Doug Melvin of the Brewers -- co-winners last year -- Walt Jocketty of the Reds, who won for the third time in 2010; Dan O'Dowd of the Rockies in 2009; Andrew Friedman of the Rays, who won in '08; and Mark Shapiro of the Indians, the winner in '07 and '05. Terry Ryan of the Twins won the award in 2006.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow@boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.