Documenting the Athletics – From Philadelphia, to Kansas City, to Oakland and Finally to Fremont
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The Athletics came out of nowhere and signed Cuban superstar Yoenis Cespedes to a four year deal worth $36 million. All eyes were on the Marlins and even I thought that was where he was going but he’s an Oakland Athletic. He’s 26 and at the end of this deal, he’ll become a free agent again with no arbitration eligible years in the mix.
The Marlins were purported to have offered Cespedes a six year deal but the money was right about where the Athletics came out at. There’s no word as to whether it’s a front loaded or back loaded deal either so it’ll be interesting to see how the contract was structured. Still, it’s going to be fun seeing this guy mash in the Colliseum and you wonder if this means the Athletics have gotten informal word that their stadium situation is going to be resolved.
1) Jarrod Parker RHP
2) Brad Peacock RHP
3) Sonny Gray RHP
4) A.J. Cole RHP
5) Michael Choice OF
6) Grant Green OF
7) Derek Norris C
8) Jermaine Mitchell OF
9) Michael Taylor OF
10) Tom Milone LHP
The Athletics odd offseason continued as they signed oft injured Bartolo Colon to a one year deal pending a physical. Colon was oddly effective last year after some time out of the league and while he got off to a nice start for the Yankees, he tapered off pretty quick as his first half ERA was 3.20 versus a second ERA of 4.96.
The one time Cy Young winner has 161 career wins and he’ll turn 39 in May. He was good for 164 1/3 innings last year and for a one year deal, if they can get that out of him, I’d be happy. His 3.38 Strikeout to walk ratio last year was the best of his career and his strikeout rate was the best he’s had since 2001 when he was still with Cleveland.
The Athletics’ big league club isn’t looking too hot, but the farm system looks great. Kevin Goldstein gives seven players at least a four star rating in his Top Eleven Athletics’ prospects. Topping the list is the lone five star guy, MIchael Choice. The outfielder raked at High-A and with a promotion to Double-A, he’s a small step away from making his big league debut.
Number two is right handed pitcher Jarrod Parker. He made his big league debut last year after a really nice season at Double-A. Goldstein anticipates he starts the season at Triple-A but he could be with the club in the second half of 2012.
A.J. Cole was the main guy the Athletics got from the Nationals in the Gio Gonzalez trade and he’s number three. He’s a few years away but he had a nice showing at Low-A despite being just 19 the entire season. Brad Peacock (RHP and also part of the Gio Gonzalez trade) and Sonny Gray (RHP) round out the top five.
The 2012 MLB season is creeping closer and the Oakland Athletics are due for a change in luck this time around. With their last playoff appearance all the way back in 2006, A’s fans are more than ready to see some roster and pitching changes. The 2012 Oakland Athletics MLB schedule is up and tickets are now for sale. Pressure is on for Billy Beane and other management to make sure those A’s are back in top notch action for the upcoming season. Whatever the case and however this off-season pans out, Athletics fans are still gearing up to get to the stadium in 2012. There’s nothing quite like spring, summer and fall ball at the ballpark. Get ready for the new MLB season and enjoy it!
As expected, the Athletics offered arbitration to David DeJesus and Josh Willingham. Of course this is typical Billy Beane as he’s out to get his draft picks. Neither are expected to accept and while Josh Willingham has expressed some interest in coming back, it doesn’t look like the A’s are too keen on spending money until their stadium issues are resolved.
Willingham is modified Type-A free agent so if he goes else where, the A’s will get a sandwich pick. If DeJesus signs somewhere else, they get a supplemental first round pick. Of course these were two of the A’s better offensive players so if they go, it’ll further deplete an already mediocre offense.
The Athletics made a few roster modifications to protect some players from the 40 man draft. Jermaine Mitchell was added to the 40 man roster so he’ll be protected but then they outrighted Evan Scribner and Cedric Hunter so they could be gone shortly.
Mitchell had a really nice year as an aging minor league player. He put up solid numbers at both Double A and Triple A and depending on what the A’s do this offseason, you could see him in a major league uniform on opening day. Mitchell was a fifth round pick way back in 2006 and he’s now 27 years so he’s past the point of being called a prospect but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a productive player for the big league team.
The Athletics are somewhat hamstrung. They had one of the worst offenses in baseball and their best hitter, Josh Willingham, is probably one his way out. Willingham wants to stay but he was told that no deals will be made until the A’s stadium situation is resolved. With no end in site, A’s fans could be looking at another stinker of a season. Willingham belted 29 home runs and finally showed some of the offense people thought he’d have as a prospect. Kurt Suzuki was the next best home run hitter with just 14.
Take out Willingham and this offense is pretty weak. David DeJesus and his 93 OPS+ might also be on the way out. So if things hold and the A’s don’t make many moves, you could be looking at the 2011 Sacramento RiverCats being your 2012 Oakland Athletics.
Brandon McCarthy has had a come back season of sorts. Once a blue chip White Sox prospect, he was dealt to the Rangers where he struggled for three seasons. Now he’s with the Athletics and while his win/loss record isn’t anything to write home about, he’s had a great season for the Athletics. Tonight was no exception with an impressive three hit shutout over the hapless Mariners.
He needed 114 pitches to get through the Mariners in this one. He struck out ten and didn’t allow a single walk. It was his first shutout of the season and probably his best game.
Cliff Pennington went one for four with a double and two RBIs. Scott Sizemore hit his eighth home run of the season.
That was win number 63 on the season. Not that it matters, but there’s just a slim chance they’ll fall into last place. Not that third is any more appealing then fourth.
Well, a tough season is winding down. I don’t think a lot of people though the A’s would be at the top but they had a decent run in the first half before falling out of the race. For a while they were in last but the Mariners have played some bad ball as of late and the A’s find themselve in third place, yet still a distant third from the contendors.
Yesterday was a 6-2 loss to the Indians. Trevor Cahill was rolling along but he ran into trouble in the sixth inning. In all, he gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Three different hitters had a pair of hits. Cliff Pennington was one of those guys and he drove in a run, had a double and stole a base.
The Indians series continues. Rich Harden gets the ball and the A’s will face Ubaldo Jimenez.
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