Last week, seemingly out of nowhere, the Oakland A’s traded all-star pitcher Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks for prospects. My initial reaction was that it was fair for both sides and I maintain that stance. I am confused about the timing, though.
The talk of the town has been about Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey (which I’ll get to later) and then Billy Beane does the unexpected and trades a guy who he just locked up for five years.
Let’s face it, expecting the A’s to contend next year is unrealistic considering the prominence of the Rangers, the Angels’ off-season additions, and the fact that the A’s will be minus their entire starting outfield. So if you tell me that it’s again time to rebuild I can get on board. If you trade Cahill, I can also get on board, but if you are going to do it you have to get a ridiculous haul for him. Like I said last week, it’s a fair trade of both sides but why do a fair trade now? The A’s have Cahill for four more years; you can get a fair deal any time you want. The timing of it just confuses me
I will say this though: outfield prospect and the second piece to the package,Collin Cowgill, is a guy the A’s have been after a while. They drafted him in 2007 but he elected to return to school, and also allegedly tried to trade for him last year at the deadline.
This deal also tells me two things about the A’s thinking: the first is that they really like Jarrod Parker, the main piece to the deal. The A’s reportedly hold him in higher regard than Arizona’s first round draft pick last year, RHP Trevor Bauer out of UCLA. Bauer has been the unanimous pick for tops in Arizona’s farm system in all the lists I have read so that’s saying something. The second thing this trade tells us is that the A’s must not be as high on Cahill as we all thought. Maybe his arm angle scares them with regard to his future health, maybe it’s the slight drop in velocity or his lack of command and his second half performance couldn’t have helped. But the Cahill trade took a lot of people by surprise and the package was a lot less than what the reported asking price for Gio Gonzalez.
Which brings us to our next topic of discussion: The Gio Gonzalez trade saga.
It is set to start picking up quickly now that the Yu Darvish drama should reach a conclusion soon. Teams bid for the right to negotiate a contract with Darvish, a true superstar pitcher in Japan, on Wednesday. To be completely honest, I’m surprised the identity of the winning bidder hasn’t yet been announced, but whichever teams don’t win the right to sign Darvish will then set their sights on Gio. So basically this whole offseason for the A’s has been setting up for the Gio bidding war, and that could begin as soon as tonight.
I would expect the A’s to get a king’s ransom here. He’s obviously in high demand with several teams reportedly interested including the Blue Jays, Yankees, Reds, Red Sox, Rangers and Tigers. Any of these teams would have to give up several top prospects which seems like a steep price for a guy who led the league in walks the last two years. But there is no denying Gio’s talent and if I were a betting man, I’d bet one of those teams is willing to part with the necessary young talent to tempt Billy Beane… maybe.
As for Andrew Bailey, the asking price has been high for him as well, obviosly too high for rival GMs to bite. If Billy can’t get the deal he wants, he’ll wait till the July 31st trade deadline to make a deal. Usually the rule is you get more in a trade for starters during the offseason and more for relievers at the deadline when contenders are adding the final pieces for a playoff run. We’ll see how that unfolds. I still like the Red Sox as favorites for Bailey.
About the Author
Written by Josh Muller
My name is Josh Muller. I was born and raised in Oakland, California and currently live in San Francisco. I watch sports religiously and organize my calender year to coincide with baseball season. I'm a diehard A's and Warriors fan, love talking sports all day and believe that the words "Opening Day" are the two greatest in the English language.