Posted tagged ‘Gio Gonzalez’

The roadtrip from hell

May 27, 2011

Starting tonight the Yankees embark on a nine game road trip. They are heading to Seattle for the weekend series, then down to Oakland, and finally will cap off the road trip with a series at Anaheim.

While west coast trips are never fun, this doesn’t seem so bad. I mean, both Seattle and Oakland have terrible offenses, and Anaheim isn’t anything special. Well, take a look at the pitching match-ups.

Seattle: Felix Herandez, Michael Pineda, Justin Vargas

Oakland: Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez

Los Angeles: Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana

Yup. That’s arguably the best three trio’s in the AL. Not only do we get to face them, but we face them on the road AND it’s a west coast trip. For real- we couldn’t have missed Weaver, or Felix out of the nine games? This has to be the worst scheduling luck I’ve seen. That’s seven possible Cy Young candidates right there. And we NEVER win in LA anyway. LA could throw their backup catcher against us and win*.

*At least Howie Kendrick is out. Otherwise we’d get shutout AND get ten runned.

And when the Yankees return home, they get Boston (and then Cleveland). Yay! And I bet they get Lester/Beckett/Clay with their luck.

Trevor Cahill is worth the money

April 13, 2011

Recently, he signed a 5/$30.5mil extension with Oakland. So it will buy out three arbitration seasons, and another year of free agency. The deal will run through his age 23-27 seasons.

I like this deal. Look, Cahill may not be as good as his ERA and other basic numbers suggest. He had an ugly 5.33 FIP in 2009, and the difference between his FIP and ERA in 2010 was 1.22. But he is still a young pitcher, who was considered a top prospect. Not all pitchers turn into Cy Young out of the gate. He is a ground ball pitcher, which is always a plus. His career GB rate thus far has been 51.9%. That is key since he is not a strikeout pitcher- yet. So far in the majors he has never had K/9 above 5.4. BUT, in the minors he had some very high K rates. Does that mean he will become a strikeout king one day? Probably not- but it does show he has the potential and skill to develop into a pitcher who can strikeout a fair amount of batters. Once he does that, assuming he keeps a good GB rate, he could be a very good pitcher, especially since he pitches in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.

Cahill posted a 2.2 fWAR in 2010, which meant his value was $8.7mil. For a 22 year old, that’s pretty damn good.

The payout of his contract looks like this:

2011- $1.5mil

2012- $3.5mil

2013- $5.5mil

2014- $7.7mil

2015- $12mil

So, he was originally making $440K this season, but that bumps up to $1.5mil. However, he will certainly be worth more than $1.5mil this year, so that’s a good saving for Oakland. For his arbitration years, I think Oakland will not be saving too much in terms of what he would have made through arbitration. $3.5mil was a realistic number for his first year of arbitration and using the 40/60/80 scale, he would have made $5.6mil in 2013 and $10mil in 2014. So there is some saving there. HOWEVER, if he continues to develop as he matures, Cahill would be worth more than a total of $16.7mil from 2012-2014.

Looking at his free agency year, he would have been 27 years old, and I would assume a good pitcher who made between $8-$10mil in his last year of arbitration. I can only imagine $12mil per year would have been a starting point for his services.

So yes, I like this deal for Oakland. Cahill is not a star yet, and may never be a star, but Oakland is locking up a quality pitcher for less than his market value.

My one concern is what this means for the teams other young players. It’s not secret the A’s are a frugal and if this potentially keeps them from locking up a Daric Barton or Gio Gonzalez as well, then I may re-question this deal. Until then, it gets a thumbs up from me.

Oakland A’s trade for David DeJesus

November 11, 2010

One of the bigger baseball stories of the day is the trade that sent David DeJesus from Kansas City to Oakland in exchange for Vin Mazzarro and a minor league pitcher.

I have to say, I like the trade for both teams.

For Oakland, this move makes so much sense. They have a loaded rotation, especially with the recent acquisition of Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwamura. Along with Iwamura, the rotation boasts Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Gio Gonzalez. Mazzarro didn’t have an immediate spot in the rotation, and considering how young that rotation is, it didn’t look like he was going to have a major role on the team barring an injury. So to the A’s, Mazzarro was expendable. In return, they picked up a quality outfielder who fits into their defensive shtick, as well as a quality bat. DeJesus isn’t a feared slugger and will probably regress from his career high .363 wOBA (394 PA) last season, but he instantly becomes one of Oakland’s best hitters, if not their best hitter. For a price tag of $6mil, he should be a bargain for Oakland as he almost definitely will post a 2+ WAR like he has done in all but one full season at the ML level.

I think Oakland will be a decent team again in 2011 and depending on how the off-season goes for other teams in the AL West, the A’s could be contenders again. So adding DeJesus to the roster is an improvement. However, chances are Los Angeles or Texas will run away from Oakland. In that case, there will be plenty of suitors for DeJesus come July, where the A’s will probably get more in return than what they are giving up now in Mazzarro and a minor leaguer. Should DeJesus remain an A all season, he should fetch the team a draft pick or two. Either way, DeJesus is bringing a substantial amount of value to Oakland. Good job Billy Beane.

As for Kansas City, I like the trade, but not totally. DeJesus is not going to be a Royal in 2012, so they figured they should get something for him. In a trade, they would theoretically get more now than in July, because the other team would be trading for a full season of DeJesus. Vin Mazzarro is a young, cost-controlled pitcher who instantly will have a spot in the rotation. He has potential and just needs to be a decent pitcher to be fair value in return for DeJesus. HOWEVER, I am not the biggest fan of Mazzarro. He is one of my favorite players because he is Italian and from New Jersey. But he doesn’t miss bats, walks a fair share of batters, and gives up a lot of hard hit balls- he has a career 1.31 HR/9 pitching in Oakland(!) and a 20.8 LD%. Eeesh. Moreover, a sinker-slider pitcher, he has a poor GB% of 41.2 in his career. If he is not going to miss bats, he needs to generate ground balls, something he has not done thus far. Mazzarro does have the potential though, so if he can become a ground ball pitcher, we will probably also see a decline in the number of hard hit balls against him. If that happens, Kansas City will have a good pitcher on their hands. All at the cost of one season of David DeJesus. I like the chance KC is taking.

Kansas City possibly could have held onto DeJesus and taken a draft pick, but  he might only be a type B FA. KC might have thought about that and figured they liked Mazzarro better than a potential pick in the upcoming draft.

So overall, I give thumbs up to both sides.

Real fast I also just want to again mention the sleeper potential of Oakland. I know Texas will be great again and LA will be revamped after they sign a ton of free agents, but Oakland is just solid. Their outfield will consist of DeJesus, Ryan Sweeney, and Coco Crisp. Average offense, great defense. The DH could be top prospect Chris Carter. The infield, consisting of Daric Barton, Mark Ellis, Cliff Pennington and Kevin Kouzmanoff, will not allow a single ball through the infield. Kurt Suzuki is a good catcher and the pitching will be a major strength again (even with some regression they should get a full year from Brett Anderson). And if shit blows up, DeJesus and Crisp could fetch some decent players in return.

Shout out to David DeJesus, a Rutgers alum (well, he didn’t graduate, but so what?)