Finally. I’m always anxious about contract negotiations or trades until they are finalized because it always seems to good to be true when the A’s get any player of value. It’s a good day for A’s fans, who could use a few good days.
But this whole Cespedes saga has made me a little bitter about another international free agent signing this winter.
I know they are completely different players, but it seems there is an endless stream of praise directed towards the Texas Rangers for their signing of Japanese pitcher, Yu Darvish. And yet the A’s are met with skepticism and doubt with their big signing of the off-season. This bothers me.
I’ve read all the scouting reports on Darvish and I understand that he’s supposed to be different from any other Japanese pitcher before him, but the fact of the matter is he hasn’t thrown a single pitch in the Major Leagues and (including the record breaking $51.7 million they paid just for the rights to negotiate with Darvish) the Rangers paid $111 million for the guy.
Cespedes, on the other hand, was signed for a third of that cost and has all the tools to impact the game as much if not more than Darvish. Why is Darvish viewed as God’s gift to baseball but Cespedes “isn’t ready for big league pitching?” The truth is we just don’t know.
It’s not that I don’t expect great things out of Darvish. In fact, in a vacuum situation, I’d choose him over Cespedes, but it seems the sporting world thinks there is a wide gap of talent between the two. I simply don’t see it that way and the difference in the amount of money each team paid to get their guy is staggering.
Let me rephrase: Do you think the difference between Darvish and Cespedes is worth $75 million?
I try to view things without bias but when the Rangers can do no wrong and the A’s are the butt of every off-season joke, it gets to me. Vengeance will come as Cespedes hits a 750-foot homer off Darvish in their first meeting.
Props to Weeks: This isn’t for anything specific, but I just feel I haven’t praised Jemile Weeks enough for what he did last year.
I remember when the A’s drafted Weeks. I was watching it on my computer and the guy I really wanted was Justin Smoak, who the Rangers grabbed with the pick right in front of the A’s. I was pretty upset at the time but watching Weeks progress through the minors and then coming into his own last year as a rookie, I realize what a value he is to this team.
And it really must have felt great for Jemile hearing all the off-season trade rumors, but also hearing he was the only guy in the organization that the A’s wouldn’t consider trading.
Weeks has a unique set of talents. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a slight sophomore slump but he’s a smart, young ballplayer and should be able to figure it out. He really only needs to improve his approach at the plate and his defense. If he can get on base at a higher clip and clean up the mistakes, he has a chance to be an elite second baseman at the top of the A’s order for years to come.
Barton Still Not Right: Daric Barton is scheduled to have a second cortisone shot on his right shoulder following his surgery. This is bad news for Barton as he’s already behind in a wide-open competiton for the first base job.
It looks like when Barton heals he’ll probably head to the minors for a while. I doubt he has enough time this spring to show the A’s that he will be healthy. Plus Brandon Allen crushed a grand slam and had seven RBIs on Sunday.
Parker Impresses: Jarrod Parker, the main piece the A’s got in return for the Cahill trade, pitched his first two innings of the spring on Sunday. He retired all six batters he faced striking out four of them and hit 96 mph on the gun.
I don’t put much stock into spring numbers, especially not this early, but I have high expectations for Parker. I thought the A’s should have received more for Cahill so, for me, Parker needs to match Cahill’s level of pitching for that trade to be a success. If he keeps it up, it will be tough for the A’s to start him to AAA.
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.