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Winter Meetings Day Four: Gio, Cahill, Rule V, Darvish and the Angels

December 8, 2011

The winter meetings have come to a close and lots has gone on in Major League Baseball yet nothing has gone on with Oakland. Despite rumors galore the A’s have the same 39 men on their 40-man roster that they began the week with. Here is a rundown on the A’s related news.

There were reports saying that the A’s felt moving Gio Gonzalez was unlikely during the meetings and others that said any movement of Gonzalez likely would follow a shipping out of Andrew Bailey. Bailey was not moved and as of yet nor has Gonzalez gone anywhere. Regarding Gonzalez, in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle Susan Slusser wrote,

“There were indications that the Jays and A’s, clubs that relish multi-team deals, might add a third team to the mix to try to find the right match. In addition, Oakland could sweeten any deal with a second player. There is interest in left-handed reliever Craig Breslow, as well as much of the rest of the A’s bullpen.

Because the A’s are looking for such a significant return, some teams that have asked about Gonzalez now believe they might have a better shot at another All-Star, right-hander Trevor Cahill. There won’t be a big drop-off in asking price; Cahill is signed through 2015, with two team option years after that.”

While the Jays do seem like a very nice fit – I particularly would love to see the A’s get their hands on Jake Marisnick – there was no other news to follow up this rumor or any mention of any third-team materializing. While Gio has not yet moved the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Nationals, Phillies, Rangers, Reds, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees have all expressed interest in the lefty so far.

Cahill, who as Slusser mentioned is being seen as a backup option for clubs who cannot afford the prospects the A’s seek for Gonzalez, has intrigued the Arizona Diamondbacks. A specific name that the A’s have brought up in discussions with Arizona is their pitching prospect former UCLA Bruin, Trevor Bauer. Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweeted,

“Talks between Arizona and Oakland have advanced, but aren’t close to completion. Trevor Bauer a player of interest for Athletics.”

I am very much so in favor of this potential exchange of Trevors. Bauer is the Diamondback’s #1 prospect as per Baseball America. Bauer didn’t pitch much after being the third overall pick in last year’s amateur draft throwing a combined 25 2/3 innings between Visalia and Mobile during which he allowed 15.1 K/9 with 4.2 BB/9 with a 5.96 ERA in his first innings of professional work. While there is a lot of talk in the A’s camp about a reunion between Cahill and pitching coach Curt Young as being a benefit to the young starter, I am pretty unimpressed with what I think will be just an innings eating fourth starter type. Cahill followed his breakout 2010 campaign with a lackluster 2011 campaign though his FIP improved from 4.19 to 4.10 despite his ERA jumping from 2.97 to 4.16. To me it seems the 4.16 ERA is about what we should expect from the young Cahill and while there is certainly value in a strong innings eater who can put up an ERA just north of four, Bauer is very intriguing pitching prospect. It must be noted though that Bauer having been selected in last year’s draft cannot yet be traded and can’t even be a “player to be named later” until January.

The Rule V draft took place today. The A’s who had the eleventh selection – though several teams ahead of them were ineligible to participate due to full 40-man rosters – did not make any selection. I was hoping that the A’s would select Erik Komatsu from the Nationals system. Komatsu who originated in the Brewers system and came to Washington in the trade that sent Jerry Hairston, Jr. to Milwaukee, split 2011 between Huntsville and Harrisburg both of Double-A posting a .277/.367/.382 slash line with seven home runs in 521 plate appearances. More noteworthy though was his near 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio (64 BB’s to 66 K’s). Overall in his MiLB career he is a .302/.389/.434 hitter and for an A’s team very short on outfielders the 24-year-old can play all three outfield positions. Others saw potential in Komatsu as he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals who picked twenty-second.

Susan Slusser in another piece today, this one in The Drumbeat said that the A’s may be bidders for Yu Darvish who decided to be posted late last night. She talked to David Forst who said,

“We have seen Darvish the last couple of years. There’s no secret about his talent…

…It’s no secret he’s being posted, and we’ve had the ability to plan for it if it’s something we wanted to do.”

A lot of no secrets in there. I think the A’s signing Darvish is near none but it is nice to dream. Darvish looks to be the real deal putting the numbers other Japanese phenoms have had to shame. He would likely cost more than the A’s have ever paid for any player ever in their franchise history. While I think the A’s should really try to corner Japanese and international stars, this one is one due to his cost that is most likely very unfeasible and perhaps not wise.

One giant move of course happened today that did not involve the A’s but will have huge ramifications for them, the Angels signed Albert Pujols to a ten-year $254M contract. I personally love this deal for the A’s for while it makes the Angels tough this year (still not necessarily better than the Rangers) they’ve signed themselves up for the biggest albatross in MLB history come the latter half of this deal. NBCSports.com’s HardballTalk put it best when Aaron Gleeman of the noticed that Pujols ranked seventh all-time in bWAR (Gleeman chose to use bWAR, this site typically uses FanGraphs’ method of calculation) through age 31. He wrote,

“Obviously that’s some ridiculously amazing company, but seeing Pujols on that list did make me curious about how those other guys fared after age 31. Here are the Wins Above Replacement totals for those same players from age 32 on:

Babe Ruth          75.2
Willie Mays        67.8
Hank Aaron         51.4
Ty Cobb            46.9
Lou Gehrig         31.5
Rogers Hornsby     26.9
Mel Ott            22.5
Mickey Mantle      19.1
Alex Rodriguez     15.2"
Barry Bonds holds the all-time bWAR past age 32 record at 86.5. Do I think that Pujols will be a near 8.7 bWAR/per year player through age 41? No. Could he match Ruth’s 7.5? Probably not. This year he was worth 5.4 bWARm. Even keeping that up for ten more years seems crazy. I like the odds on this deal not being a winner A’s fans.

 

In what normally would never be an afterthought type move, the Angels also signed C.J. Wilson to a five year $77.5M contract – expensive day for Arte Moreno. Just as with Pujols, I don’t know how I like Wilson over the course of this deal as he has so little history. We shall see.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. elmaquino permalink
    December 9, 2011 4:31 pm

    Happy B-Day, TVP!

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