Lots of slimy reports trickling out here and there reporting the Arizona Diamondbacks are poised to acquire Oakland A’s groundball wizard Trevor Cahill and reliever Craig Breslow in exchange for Snakes’ top prospects Jarrod Parker and Collin Cowgill with Ryan Cook also headed to Oakland.
Early reports included names such a Trevor Bauer, Wade Miley or Bobby Borchering but the A’s did well to acquire Parker and Cowgill in this exchange.
Trevor Cahill is a decent Major League starter, best known for his heavy sinker which gets ground balls by the boatload. He doesn’t really strike anybody out but he is durable and limits walks in an effective way.
Cahill put up two straight 200 innings season of nearly 4.00 FIP baseball, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. He doesn’t miss bats and his control isn’t exactly pinpoint, as evidenced by his propensity for the long ball. Cahill is only 24 and remains under team control after signing one of those option-heavy arb buyout deals that are all the rage in April.
Craig Brewslow is a LOOGY who probably won’t like pitching at Chase Field as much as he liked the Coliseum.
Jarrod Parker is a polished arm who doesn’t blow anybody away but still managed strong strikeout numbers in the minor leagues, though he did miss 2010 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He made his big league debut this fall with the Diamondbacks, making a single start in which he survived 5.2 innings with a single strikeout and no walks.
The belief of some writers and baseball watchers is this deal is more about Collin Cowgill for the A’s. Cowgill had 100 big league plate appearances this season. He profiles as a good defensive outfielder with a touch of power and a good idea at the plate. Bill James projects him to put up a .344 wOBA in 2012, but they projected me to post a .200 ISO so take it with a grain of salt.
The Diamondbacks get a reliable mid-rotation arm for their push to defend the N.L. West title while the A’s get just what the A’s always want: cost-controlled, major league-ready players. Both Parker and Cowgill have a chance to make the Opening Day roster for the A’s while Cahill will, Ichiro willing, make more starts for the Snakes than Joe Saunders.
If this is the price for Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez is going to fetch a mint as he is a much, much better pitcher than his former teammate. The A’s may have just cannibalized the market for Gio by netting such a tidy return for the inferior player. Worst case scenario is Oakland starts the season with Gio Gonzalez as their Opening Day starter. Not such a bad situation, when it comes down to it.