A’s Young Starters Basically Untouchable

The A's will explore ways of upgrading their roster this season, but the youngest members of their rotation are 'basically untouchable,' according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Tyson Ross are likely staying put this summer, Olney reports.

Dallas Braden, now on the 15-day DL and Brandon McCarthy round out Oakland's rotation, which could be a constant for years to come. The A's have Anderson and Cahill under team control through 2015 and 2017, respectively. Ross isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, Gonzalez isn't eligible until after 2015 and Braden is under team control for 2012-13.

A's starters are first in the majors in ERA (2.59), second in innings pitched (236) and third in BB/9 (2.48) and xFIP (3.29). The early results are good and it wouldn't be hard to argue that Gonzalez (25), Ross (24), Cahill (23) and Anderson (23) have yet to reach their prime.

MLBTR's Luke Adams recently looked at Gonzalez as an extension candidate and I explained why the A's may choose to go year-to-year with Gonzalez and Braden instead of extending the left-handers.

25 Responses to A’s Young Starters Basically Untouchable Leave a Reply

  1. tiduss 4 years ago

    They deserve more offensive support.

  2. nats2012 4 years ago

    That is a great rotation. Trevor Cahill looks like he is throwing a whiffle ball, crazy movement.

  3. This pitching is wasted without any offense. Imagine their bullpen getting better with hopefully devine, bailey back. They also have a mix of back rotation types that could get chances in outman, banwart, marti, moscosco, godfrey in AAA. McCarthy is a sell high candidate. Braden/Ross are injury risks

  4. fpsantangeloswingman 4 years ago

    Dallas Braden is getting a second _and_ third opinion on his injured shoulder. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done for this season, as well as most of next season. If it’s a major injury, he probably won’t get a contract extension.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      a torn meniscus weakens the knee, which puts strains on other muscles and ligaments in and around the knee. You put yourself in a vulnerable spot to get more seriously injured..a sore shoulder could lead to altered mechanics putting more strain on the elbow leading to more severe injuries.

      You’re also are assuming its the players that wont play through pain, when in actuality a lot of times its the team that enforces health to protect their investments.

      edit* this response was for rooneyboy but looks like his post was removed

  5. Ben Brown 4 years ago

    Once Bailey & Devine come back, I think some of the middle relief needs to be packaged for a power bat.

    • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

      what they really need to do is package those guys for jack london square stadium , and maybe a new owner who isnt dead set on SJ or just dead set against oakland

      • zonis 4 years ago

        They do that, and they are stuck in the same place they were before. In SJ at least, even if they draw poorly, they’d be drawing from a much more affluent crowd.

  6. Guest 4 years ago

    It still amazes me how so many people thought the A’s pitching staff was gonna take a nosedive this year. Their defense didn’t go anywhere (in fact, it’s probably even better with DeJesus in the outfield mix). And it’s not like this is Anderson, Cahill, or Gio’s sophomore season. That was last year.

    I’m under no illusions that they’ll continue to be QUITE as dominant as they were in the first 6 weeks of this season. But they sure aren’t showing any signs of falling off. And they still have a lot of good depth at AAA, plus Bailey probably returning in a couple weeks, which will be very significant if he’s close enough to 100%.

    They just need better run support (obviously). But it’s really hard to imagine the offense not improving over the next few weeks. Most of the players in their regular lineup have an OPS 100-200 points lower than their career average. And I don’t think that will last. Plus it’s not like Willingham, Matsui or DeJesus have been used to playing in hitter’s parks. And so long as they don’t fall more than 5 or 6 games out of first by the All-Star break, there’s probably a 99% chance that they’ll look to add another bat by the deadline.

  7. Jason Klinger 4 years ago

    I’m on the East Coast, but I’ve had a couple chances to see Cahill and Gonzalez pitch. Their combination of “stuff” and composure is impressive. Oakland management really ought to go all in at the break and make a play for a bat or two. A little more offense and this team is a dark horse WS contender.

  8. captainjeter 4 years ago

    A fans better not get used to this rotaion. Bean always blows them up just before they reach free agency. 5 years max and they are all gone. Think Zito, Harden, Blanton.Hudson,Haren , Mulder and the list goes on

    • sportsfan07 4 years ago

      Everyone always makes it seem like the rotation was dumped for nothing. Zito did reach free agency so that part is not needed plus look at what he’s become. No thanks I wouldn’t want him on my team. Harden was always injured and it would have been a risk to not trade him and see what other parts we could get because this team was going nowhere fast. Ditto Blanton but that trade was more obvious to do because the package is so good for a guy of Blanton’s talent. Hudson was just a sad trade but understandable. Beane needed to make moves to try and keep the team competitive for years rather than just allow Hudson to leave for draft picks. Mulder and Haren were traded for probably 2 of the biggest heists in baseball HISTORY so why would it matter if we lost them or not?

  9. TapDancingTeddy 4 years ago

    What’s Braden on the DL for? I hope he’s okay – I sort of like Mr. “Get off of my mound.”

  10. MSUCorner 4 years ago

    Like the mariners, the A’s absolutely, positively HAVE to trade some of these pitchers to the Yankees for Montero and some other worthless prospects. They really have no choice, this “untouchable” business is just silly.

    • sportsfan07 4 years ago

      That is not true. The A’s still have some very attractive young prospects that they could deal away for a bat. Guys like Josh Donaldson, Ian Krohl (hopefully not), Stephen Parker (if it’s for a 3B like David Wright), Travis Banwart, Josh Outman (once he shows that he’s healthy again), Conner Crumbliss, Rashun Dixon, the list goes on and on with expendable prospects that are still very good. To say that they have to trade away one of the guys in the rotation just shows that you are not very familiar with the A’s farm system. And we all know with Beane no one is “untouchable”. Untouchable here means we will only trade if it is for a ridiculous package like what we got for Haren or Swisher.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        Yeah. I definitely look for the A’s to be active at the trade deadline (or as soon as teams start selling). But giving up one of their best young starters won’t be necessary unless it gets them multiple years of a true impact bat. And even then they might be able to put together a package of prospects and ML-ready relievers, with someone like Choice or Green being the centerpiece.

        • sportsfan07 4 years ago

          Grant Green and Michael Choice are really the 2 prospects that are not going anywhere until they wear green n gold and we see what they can do. The best trade asset they have right now would probably be Tyson Ross but they seem dead set on keeping him for now. I can see a package of something like Tyson Ross, Josh Donaldson and some other prospects could be dealt away this summer especially if Ross stays on a roll

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Don’t be too sure. If someone like David Wright were to become available (not that I think he will be), they would almost surely have to part with Green or Choice if they had any hope of acquiring him. Plus a young pitcher like Ross, plus several others. To get someone of that caliber for 2 1/2 years, it would take a package pretty similar to the one that the A’s received from the Diamondbacks for Haren.

          • sportsfan07 4 years ago

            I really doubt that it would take that much to get Wright. At the time, Haren was one of the best if not arguably the best starting pitcher in all of baseball when he was traded and he was signed to a very team favorable contract for the next 2 years where he was making over $10M under his market value. For David Wright, he is good and definitely a Top 10 3B right now, but he currently is nowhere near the top 3B in all of baseball as Haren was arguably the best SP in all of baseball when he was traded. Wright’s .234 average and .739 OPS really means he shouldn’t be worth as much as Haren at all. And to add to the fact, he is getting paid over his market value for what he is producing currently. I know that he is not going to continue to hit .234 and probably will end up hitting around .290-.300+ when it’s all said and done but all of those combined really tells me that a package like Ross, Parker, Krohl and Donaldson can really get Wright on this team if he were to be traded. Still no need to give up Choice or Green.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            If the A’s were his only suitor, and the Mets were really motivated to trade him, that might be enough. But the Tigers are known to covet Wright, and I don’t think they’ll think twice about gutting their farm if they have to. The Angels would probably be in on him, as well. And they would be motivated by needing a 3B, PLUS making sure the A’s didn’t get him. So I doubt they’d hesitate to offer a really good package either.

            The Mets will realize all of this if they decide to shop him. So they’ll be in a much better bargaining position than I think you realize.

            Of course, this could very well be moot. If I had to put money on it, I’d bet that Wright is still a Met in 2012.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      You’re right about “untouchable business being silly.” But I very seriously doubt that anyone on the A’s roster truly IS untouchable. They’re just not gonna do something dumb like trading one of their top young starters for “Montero and some other worthless prospects.”

      They acquired Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Carlos Gonzalez, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith for just 3 years of Dan Haren. And they did that at the very start of the rebuild, which is over. So if a team wants 4 1/2 years of Anderson or Gio, or 6 1/2 years of Cahill, it’s gonna take an unbelievable package. And this time it will have to center around a major league bat, and not just prospects (even if one or two of them are considered ‘ML-ready’).

      I could almost see them trading Tyson Ross for a top offensive prospect. But not Montero. The A’s are set at catcher. Plus it doesn’t sound like Montero is very good behind the plate, anyway. And they already have a right-handed, power-hitting 1B/DH prospect by the name of Chris Carter.

  11. Guest 4 years ago

    This is the third time I’ve seen you go into an A’s thread and take a shot at Daric Barton for no good reason. Good grief! You sound like a 9-year-old who is steamed that they’ve never caught a home run ball like the cool kid down the street.

    Barton is a good baseball player. In fact, he was VERY GOOD in 2010. And it doesn’t take a “metric geek” to be able to see it. I’ve watched him play about 150 times since 2009, and knew he was good long before I ever looked at any of his advanced statistics. And so did everyone else who isn’t stuck in the McGwire or Giambi era.

  12. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    @notsureifsrs is at like 4000/8000

  13. Mine is 145/122…I look like Ian Stewart’s slash line…

    Oh wait…he wishes he were hitting that well.

  14. Guest 4 years ago

    That’s your argument? That he’s been bad in a sample size of at-bats, at a time when DOZENS of good players have struggled early on (including Carl Crawford, Justin Morneau and Dan Uggla, who have ALL been worse than Barton, so far, offensively)?

    And that his defense is “overrated”???

    And that he doesn’t have a lot of RBI?????

    What decade are you living in? Seriously. You need to just stick to fantasy baseball if you use RBI totals in your judgment of hitters. That’s like judging a pitcher by their win-loss record. And it’s especially nonsensical when you’re talking about a number 2 hitter.

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