Why Cahill is the A's most valuable trade chip. He's not the only one we need to trade.

I think the A's need to trade two, not Just one, of our big four of Cahill, Anderson, Braden and Gio so the team can try and score many more runs. I think Cahill will bring the most back with Anderson's injury's last year. However, One trade will not be enough for the A's to make a serious run with Oakland's lack of being able to sign good free agents or develop talent from the minors at a good enough rate. Lets face it, no one really good is going to sign with us, if ands and butts notwithstanding. No one not good is going to suddenly break out after coming to the Coliseum (I don't want to hear about Frank Thomas so save it). No prospect in our minor leagues is going to make a big enough difference in the next few years by themself. (I personally thought it was going to be Father Desme and selfishly hope the higher calling suddenly tells him its going to be another ten years before he is needed) 

 We were 11th in the AL with around 660 runs scored. If we could add another 100 runs that would put us around 6th with 760 scored and give us the serious potential to gain us +/- 10 wins .  you can say if we continue to build a super-staff and get even better D, we could have 100 less runs scored on us and get the 10 wins that way. Being as we already have the best ERA in the AL  and a top D team that would seem to be a much harder road but still a choice the A's could make. (non park adjusted if someone wants to cruch where we stand with that)

More after the Jump

All the advanced stats say Cahill was "Lucky"


They (everyone who looks at advanced stats) expect him to become average next year (for an A’s pitcher that's an ERA of 3.5 instead of the 2.97 he put up last year). Since he pitches in a pitchers park with a great infield defense and 2 CF outfield D, in theory he would/could be a 4 ERA pitcher once he moved to a hitter park with an average to sucky D. since wins have little to do with performance he could win 12-13 for the A’s next year and who knows on another team depending on that teams offense and defense. Bill James has him projected at 3.67 and 12 wins next year. I will let others post his ERA+ and BABIP and other stats and why those matter particullary with Cahill. There are a few posts that already have.

His WAR of 2.2 was less than Gio (3.2) and Braden (3.0). Anderson (2.6 WAR in about half the innings) is considered (with good reason) better than those three. If Anderson was healthy he would hands down be the most desirable trade chip for another team and still could be.

This could be the most valuable Cahill is ever going to be and if we can get a valuable position player for our fourth best starting pitcher, we do it. Braden being older and more expensive with arb, Brett having injury's and Gio not having the "Wins" ,ERA and All-Star appearance would seem to make Cahill our most valuable trade chip.  as well as the one we could most afford to lose.

However those numbers don't tell you that he's young and still learning how to pitch. Increasing his k/9 from 4.5 to 5.4 and lowering his BB/9 from 3.63 to 2.88 in one year do not seem "lucky" to me. From being the A’s sixth starter to all-star is an impressive accomplishment for anyone. It says something about his will to compete that stats can't begin to measure. He could improve enough to make up for his luck last year and be the same pitcher or better statiscally. All-Star is nothing to sneeze at.

He could in the next few years learn new pitches, learn how to spot his pitches better, mentally and physically get stronger and become a beast that one year of "lucky" metrics can't predict and few older pitchers could reasonably hope to match. Same could be said for Anderson and Gio as far as getting better over time. Though there K/9 haven't improved, it was much better than Cahill's to start with. Braden, being older, would seem to be settling in to exactly what we can expect out of him in the next few years baring a few more toes falling off. His years of being cost controlled are also soon enough to be over (2013), The rest of the big four are under team control till 2015 or later. This makes Braden the least desirable trade bait of the four for other teams by that fact alone. Cots Baseball Contracts

 Greg Maddux went from 5.6 ERA, 4.3 BB/9, 5.8 K/9 at age 21 to

                                       1.56 ERA, 1.4 BB/9, 7.0 K/9 at age 28,

generally progressing and getting a  little bit better every year.  Greg Maddux stats. We could be trading away the next Greg Maddux with one of these pitchers. Am I cherry picking with Maddux? absolutely.

 It’s up the the A’s FO to figure out which one of there starters is the most overvalued by a particular team and how to get the best guy the A’s want. The A’s probably should trade two of these four pitchers separately with other minor prospects if needed and lock up Two young cheap stud position players with high upside and proven ability and replace them in-house or with FA like Billy seems to be trying now. One new hitter is not going to be enough. We need to go for it now and we have a lot of runs to make up in doing it. It stands to reason that the second pitcher traded would be Anderson or Gio. A combination of Mazzero and Braden could have value also. Knowing what the A's staff does medically about Anderson would seem to make that decision for the A's. They think he's going to be healthy, keep Anderson. If not, disclose it, trade him and keep Gio. Or trade Mazz/Braden together if they feel they just can not part with either Anderson or Gio.

When you have a staff like ours, blocking our minor leagues not just in AAA but all the way down, we probably have at least a few that will be good enough to replace them at a somewhat minimal loss. Which few we don't know yet but since there is so many choices, shear numbers should let two of them work out. Other teams like Baltimore, KC, Arizona and Pittsburgh might start our (next) 5 best starting prospects and have a better staff than they do now in a few years. Mazzero will probably be worth much more in trade bait next year with a full season under his belt and the improvement in numbers the A’s staff seems to invoke and we would be selling real low with him.

All I can say is the A's better not let the ones they trade become the next Greg Maddox if the position players they trade for do not work out one way or another. Or Billy’s (much needed) big gamble might be the last thing he does as the A’s GM. Unless the A's franchise moves to Brooklyn (my choice if they leave Northern Caliornia as they would have 100 million dollar payrolls) they have to go all in now to take advantage of there wealth of pitching and try and win it all. 

Poll to follow. I would have liked to make more options on the poll if you agree on trading two of these guys but that's too many choices. Agree or disagree on two and which two in the comments.

Fangraphs Stats (lots of advanced stats and a glossary on how to understand them)










"Gratuitous gesticulating together sounds even better"

by OmahaHi on Nov 9, 2010 2:59 AM PST

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