It's official. No more Jim Mecir. No more Chad Bradford. The A's have gone conventional in the bullpen. No more guys throwing frisbees from down under. No more island of misfit toys.
How boring to have guys throwing nasty sliders and unhittable curveballs coming out of the pen. Will we all long for the days of Mike Venafro, Mike Magnante and Jim Mecir? Ha, I don't think so.
The truth is that Bradford was absolutely excellent during his stay with the A's and I think he would've been a nice addition to this year's bullpen. But I have to believe that this is a precursor to another deal. Either Payton or Eric Byrnes will be moved, perhaps before you can utter the words "Michael Barrett."
The three-year splits are interesting, especially as it pertains to Payton and Byrnes.
Payton actually hits right-handers fairly well. He has hit .295 against righties over the past three seasons, .275 against lefties. His OPS is .807 against lefties and .804 against righties over that same time frame. Byrnes, on the other hand, is .253/against righties, .311/against lefties with an OPS of .746 against righties and .904 against lefties.
The one thing to note about Payton is that much of those numbers were acquired while hitting at Coors Field.
On the surface, if no one is flipped (and that's how this deal needs to be judged for right now), I don't like the deal. Payton didn't like his reserve role in Boston and there isn't really a space for him to be a regular on the A's either. Especially if Swisher and Kielty will continue to be regulars in the A's lineup.
The one wild card to think about here is Erubiel Durazo who will likely also come off the DL very soon. With DJ around, there isn't really a place for Ruby either. Hatteberg isn't going anywhere.
Interesting times are ahead, ladies and gentlemen. I just know that I'm going to dearly miss Bradford as he was such an integral part of those playoff teams. He was one of the only relievers during that time span who didn't make my stomach turn when he entered the game. Yeah, Calero, Duke and Street are probably all better than Bradford now, but that doesn't mean that I won't miss Bradford...and the Island of Misfit Toys (TM Michael Lewis).