Hey everybody, athleticsperson01 here, bringing you to a closer showdown Fanpost in this edition of Blueprint Boys. It's a couple of free agent closers. From the playoff bound, St. Louis Cardinals
, closer Edward Mujica
. On the other side is the guy who was on the shocked, speechless Texas Rangers
, Joe Nathan
Starting with Edward Mujica, 29, going 37/41 in save opportunities, while posting an ERA of 2.78, in 64.2 IP. Mujica making only 3.2 million this year should be in the price range for the A's, if they choose to pursue him. Grant Balfour
made 4.5 million this year with the green and gold. Digging deeper into the Venezulan pitcher, he would be better facing lefties than righties (.232 v. .256.) As a closer, however, you have to pitch against any type of hitter no matter what handed batter they are.
Mujica also is one of those pitchers that are more effective with runners on base, even though the object of the game is to avoid things like this. Another thing that I found out is Edward is better when he has longer outings with lots of pitches. Which can tie into him being more effective with runners on base.
How does Joe Nathan compare, though? Nathan, 38 played for the 2nd place Texas Rangers last year, posting a 1.39 ERA in 64.2 IP. He just blew three saves, as well, going 43/46 in save opportunities. Now comparing Mujica to Joe, they pitched the same amount of innings, but Nathan's ERA is literally half of Edward's. Joe would come at a price, though, earning 8 million in 2013.
When he's faced the green and gold in his career, in 6 games Nathan's only allowed 2 earned runs. Also, he has converted his only save opportunity at O.co in his career. The amazing stat that I came across though is if he's on, he's on. With nobody on base he is unhuman posting a 0.22 ERA! Versus righties and lefties, Nathan has stats concerning those below the Mendoza line (.171 v. R, .152 v. L.)
What do you guys think about this matchup? Who would you pick as the winner for the A's to get as closer? Would the A's just keep Grant Balfour? Thanks again, everybody, and all comments are welcome!