Trevor Cahill Rumors

Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers Interested In Buehrle

6:05pm: It's highly unlikely that the Yankees will make a serious run for Buehrle, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).

1:54pm: The Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers are interested in free agent lefty Mark Buehrle, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, and the Marlins are meeting with him today.  Buehrle, 32, posted a 3.59 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.92 HR/9, and 44.9% groundball rate in 205 1/3 innings this year.  The long time White Sox starter has pitched 200+ innings in every season since 2001.

The Marlins and Blue Jays are the teams most aggressively pursuing trades for starting pitchers, add Rosenthal and Morosi.  One GM said of the Jays' Alex Anthopoulos, "You can’t pin him down. He has interest in every one of your players."

James Shields, Wade Davis, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Jair Jurrjens, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Chad Billingsley, and Wandy Rodriguez are the pitchers "known or thought to be available in trades," according to the FOX writers.  Cahill and Billingsley are the new names here, but it's unclear whether they fall under "known" or "thought."  The availability of Rodriguez will depend on whether Jim Crane is approved as new Astros owner next week, as Crane does not share Drayton McLane's reluctance to move the 32-year-old.


A’s Will Listen On Anyone But Weeks

The Athletics are willing to listen to trade offers for any player except Jemile Weeks, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The A’s aren’t sure where they’ll be playing in a few years, so their spending decisions appear to be on hold as they await word from MLB on a potential relocation to San Jose. 

Though Oakland GM Billy Beane isn’t shopping his players, he’ll listen to proposals for Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Kurt Suzuki and others. The A’s have more starting pitching than most teams and they may leverage their depth in trade talks.

If the A’s move to nearby San Jose, they would look to contend as their new park opened, likely in approximately three years, according to Rosenthal. However, if the A’s remain in Oakland, the team may strip down its payroll. I explained last month that the A's will be looking to restore outfield depth and improve their offense.


Gammons On A’s, Pirates, Royals, Rays

Starting pitching is one of the most valuable assets in the game and, as Peter Gammons explains at MLB.com, small-market teams usually have to rely on the draft to obtain it. Here are Gammons’ latest notes from around the league…

  • A's GM Billy Beane says his current rotation, a group that’s more or less untouchable, could be as good as Tim HudsonMark Mulder and Barry Zito were. Trevor Cahill has “become one of the best pitchers in the game,” according to Beane.
  • "Let's face it, no small-market team can afford to go into the market to get starting pitching,"  Beane told Gammons. "To survive and compete, you have to draft and develop pitching, or go out and get it before it's on the Major League radar screen."
  • Gammons reports that some expect the Pirates to take Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen with the first overall pick this June. Click here for MLBTR's Q&A with Hultzen.
  • Georgia Tech Lefty Jed Bradley will likely disappear within the first ten picks of the draft, and Connecticut righty Matt Barnes will likely be a top-15 selection.
  • The Royals are looking for a college starter who can arrive in the Major Leagues and make an impact in the rotation soon.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore agrees that you need pitching to go along with premium position players. “They're not going to win if we don't find young, affordable pitching," Moore said.
  • The D’Backs, who hold two of the first seven picks this year (#3, #7), will take at least one arm early on and the Rays are also likely to take a number of pitchers with some of their many high picks.


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.


A’s Notes: Gonzalez, Beane, Cahill

The A's announced their multiyear deal with Trevor Cahill today; here are some related notes and reactions to the deal:

  • Gio Gonzalez told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wouldn't mind a deal of his own (Twitter link). "It looks like everyone in the rotation is getting a deal. I'm crossing my fingers!" MLBTR's Luke Adams examined the possibility of a Gonzalez deal yesterday.
  • Billy Beane won't discuss which player(s) he's considering for possible extensions, but he told Slusser that extending young players is a template for success for small and mid-market teams (Twitter link).
  • As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes pointed out last month, Daric Barton is another extension candidate.
  • Beane says Cahill has impressed him by learning quickly, according to Slusser. "I've never seen someone make such great strides in such a short amount of time," Beane said (Twitter link).
  • For comparison's sake, I took a look at Brett Anderson's extension, signed a year ago this week.

Brett Anderson’s Extension One Year Later

Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill were born four weeks apart, went in the same round of the same draft and made their MLB debuts the same week. The similarities extend to their stats, their service time and their place in Oakland's long term plans. 

Anderson

Examine their respective extensions, however, and the parallels aren't as strong. Anderson signed a year ago this week for a guaranteed $12.5MM over four years. If the A's exercise both of their club options, Anderson (pictured) will become a free agent after the 2015 season with $31.4MM in career earnings.

Cahill signed a record deal earlier this afternoon that guarantees him $30.5MM over five years. If the A's exercise both of their club options, Cahill will become a free agent after the 2017 season with $57.5MM in career earnings.

At a glance, it appears that Cahill got a decisively better contract by waiting a year, both in terms of guaranteed money and potential earnings over the course of the deal.

There's another way to look at the extensions, though. Anderson will be a free agent by the 2015-16 offseason at the latest, potentially two years earlier than his rotation-mate. Given the scarcity of top starters on the free agent market, Anderson and his representatives at Legacy Sports Group will be in an enviable position when his contract expires, assuming he pitches well; his age 28 and 29 seasons could be worth $40MM total on the open market. 

If the A's exercise both of their options for both pitchers, Anderson will have to earn $26.1MM for 2016-17 to match Cahill's career earnings, an achievable goal given the asking price for the few top starters who do reach free agency. Cahill won't earn more than $26.5MM for his age 28-29 seasons, a trade-off for the security he obtains with substantial guaranteed salaries in 2014-15.

The 2016-17 seasons seem distant now and injuries or poor performance could limit Anderson's marketability between now and then. There's no question that he doesn't have the same security as Cahill, but in surrendering fewer years of team control, he'll appear on the open market sooner. That could be a good thing for Anderson, since the market is a profitable place to be for elite free agent starters who have yet to turn 30.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.


Athletics, Trevor Cahill Agree To Multiyear Deal

Billy Beane continued an Oakland tradition today, locking up yet another promising young starter. The A's GM agreed to sign Trevor Cahill through his arbitration years and then some with a five-year deal that the team confirmed this afternoon.

The contract, which is worth $30.5MM in guaranteed money, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, buys out Cahill's last pre-arbitration season, his three arbitration years and at least one free agent year (Twitter link). The A's have two options worth $13MM and $13.5MM for 2016 and 2017, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).

Cahill's contract is along the lines of the five-year, $30MM deals signed by Ricky RomeroJon Lester, Yovani Gallardo and, more recently, Clay Buchholz. Cahill's deal, negotiated by agent John Boggs, is a record for pitchers with two to three years of big league service, beating Romero's mark from last summer.

The deal represents a departure from Oakland's earlier pitcher extensions. Beane didn't guarantee more than $12.65MM to Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Rich Harden, Dan Haren or Brett Anderson when he locked them up to long-term deals (keep in mind that those contracts covered different chunks of the players' careers). 

Cahill, a California native, turned in a 2.97 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 across 30 starts in 2010. His first two starts have gone well in 2011; he has struck out 15 in 12 2/3 innings, allowing just 7 hits and 4 walks for a 1.42 ERA.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com first reported the agreement.

Tim Dierkes and Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


Extension Candidate: Gio Gonzalez

Now that the Athletics and Trevor Cahill have reportedly agreed to a multiyear deal, young players like Daric Barton, Gio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey could be next in line for extensions, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes previewed a Barton extension last month, so let's have a look at what it might take to lock up Gonzalez, another key member of the A's rotation.

AQA10081803_Blue Jays_at_AsAs I wrote last fall when I examined the possibility of a new contract for Cahill, Billy Beane and the A's have an extensive history of signing young pitchers to multiyear deals rather than going to arbitration. MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows that Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Rich Harden, Dan Haren, and Brett Anderson all inked contracts for at least four years early in their careers. When dealing with their top arms, the A's appear to believe the opportunity to save a few million dollars by avoiding arb is worth the risk of injury or regression. With Anderson already locked up, and Cahill on the verge, Gonzalez might be next.

One could argue, based on his excellent 2010 campaign, that the Oakland southpaw belongs in the same discussion as Jon Lester, Yovani Gallardo, and Ricky Romero, who each signed five-year deals worth approximately $30MM. However, due to some struggles in his first two years with the A's (6.24 ERA in 132 2/3 IP), Gonzalez's career ratios, such as a 4.29 ERA and 4.7 BB/9, don't compare well to the numbers those pitchers had posted when they signed.

Of course, while Gonzalez's career stats give the A's some leverage in negotiations, time is not on the club's side. Off to a fast start in 2011, the 25-year-old seems only to be getting better, which means his value could continue to rise throughout the season if the A's wait on a deal. Additionally, Gonzalez is set to become a Super Two player, meaning 2012 will be the first of four, rather than three, arbitration years.

Gonzalez's career totals may slightly hurt his bottom line on a potential extension, but his recent performance will ensure he won't come cheap. Once the figures for Cahill's deal surface, we should get a better idea of what sort of dollar amount it would take to secure Gonzalez's arb seasons. If the ACES client stays healthy and continue to improve, he could eventually earn more than $25MM through arbitration, so I'd expect the A's to explore something in the neighborhood of $20MM for those four years.


A’s Could Extend Daric Barton

"It's a good bet" that A's pitcher Trevor Cahill "will be signed through at least his arbitration years soon," according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  What's more, first baseman Daric Barton "is a strong possibility" to be signed through at least his arbitration years as well.  MLBTR's Luke Adams looked at the Cahill possibility last September, so let's focus on Barton.

Barton, 25, hit .273/.393/.405 in 686 plate appearances last year, leading the American League with 110 walks.  The A's also consider Barton's defense and durability to be positives, according to Slusser.  The first baseman did deal with a few injuries in 2009, and also spent a good portion of the season in the minors due to Jason Giambi's presence.  He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time after the 2011 season.

Barton

Barton is a very unique first baseman, and new agent Dan Lozano would have a hard time getting him properly compensated through the arbitration system.  Barton's value is tied to his OBP and defense; he only has 26 home runs and 136 RBI in 1,485 career plate appearances.  How unique is it for someone to play 150 games at first base and post an OBP of at least .390 with a SLG under .410, as Barton did last year?  According to the Baseball-Reference play index, the only other player to do it in the last 30 years was Mike Hargrove for the Indians in 1980.

If my theory that a player like Barton would be a bargain in arbitration is correct, the A's should only extend him if they're getting a big discount or control of free agent years.  From Lozano's point of view a great comparable would be Billy Butler, who is a also a little short on power but still signed for $30MM over four years ($19MM for his three arbitration years, $8MM for one free agent season, and a club option for a second).  The A's might argue that Barton better resembles a healthier Nick Johnson, though Johnson's three-year extension came at a much different point in his career.  Both Butler and Johnson, though, have at least flashed 20 home run power in their careers.


A’s Interested In Multiyear Deal For Trevor Cahill

The A's have expressed interest in signing Trevor Cahill to a multiyear deal, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Cahill, 23, will be arbitration eligible for the first time after the season.

Last year, the right-hander posted a 2.97 ERA in 196 2/3 innings with 5.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in his second full season. He won 18 games, made the All-Star team and finished 9th in Cy Young Award voting, so his agent, John Boggs, would have plenty of positives to point out in a potential arbitration hearing with Oakland.

The A's have a history of locking up their young starters. They have signed Brett Anderson, Dan Haren, Rich Harden, Barry Zito and Tim Hudson to extensions since 2000. As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, the deals have all been for four years and $9-13MM.

MLBTR's Luke Adams previewed a possible extension for Cahill last fall.