My computer is not doing so hot, so this being the 3rd time I'm trying to type this I'm going to make it quick.
I'm sure you've heard the rumors now, Zito for Kearns and a prospect or two. Cincy would send Zito to Texas.
In my opinion, Kearns and anyone but Thomas Diamond or Honer Bailey is a terrible deal. If the A's can get both of Diamond and Bailey it's a great deal. If they can get one of Diamond and Bailey along with someone like BJ Szymanski then it's a good deal.
What are your thoughts? Again, sorry for no links and not much information or thought, but typing it twice is enough for me.
Do you concede the fact that Saarloos can't possibly match last season's numbers with the non-existant K rate that he posted and move Saarloos instead?
You can hang on to Zito until July and see how the market is. If Dan Meyer is pitching the way the A's expected him to last season, you can move Zito if Harden/Haren/Blanton/Loaiza are pitching as expected. Meyer would then step into the 5th spot and the A's would still get prospects/players from a Zito trade.
I wouldnt mind that at all.
Harden Zito Haren Blanton Loaiza
Street Duke Calero Witasick Two of Flores/Garcia/Roney/Cruz
This move doesn't quite involve prospects yet, but I think it will shortly, so I'll get into a little bit.
Now, what does this move mean for the A's? I think it means Zito is gone. I think it means Kennedy is gone. I think the A's have no clue what to expect from Meyer. Zito and Loaiza were almost the exact same pitcher last season, they were both bad in 04 (Zito better) and they were both very good in 03 (Loaiza better). Now, what if Barry Zito were to be a free agent? Despite being very similar to Loaiza over for 3 years, he'd probably sign for twice as much as the A's are getting Loaiza for. Not to mention the A's would probably have to give Zito 5 years while Loaiza only 3. The A's will also be putting one of baseball's best defensies behind Loaiza, which can only help.
What is maybe the most surprising of this whole move is that the A's are willing to give up a 1st round pick for Loaiza. This is perhaps the main reason why I think Zito will be moved. The A's can stand to lose that 1st round pick because any return they get for Zito will be worth more than a 1st rounder.
Zito and Loaiza have been roughly the same pitcher for 3 years now. We can assume they'll be pretty similar in 06. All the A's have had to give up for Loaiza is a 1st round pick while moving Zito will solve their biggest weakness, offense.
You don't downgrade much in the rotation, you'll upgrade the offense with Zito dealt, you lose a 1st rounder but you'll likely gain the value right back with Zito moved. Not to mention Loaiza will have trade value himself after the 2006 season. Or if you're so inclined if you like Loaiza it opens up moving Dan Meyer who, if all goes will, will have tons of value at the 06 deadline.
That is why I like the signing.
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The way we're forced to listen to how awesome Hanley Ramirez might be one day? I posted this on a message board the other day when people were talking about how awesome Hanley is and I figured it would fit in here...
Ever hear of Gregorio Petit? That's ok, he's an A's prospect and most A's fans have never heard of him.
He's a SS about exactly a year younger than Hanley and he's in Low A. Now, I understand that is a big difference between Low A and AA, so we wont look just at their numbers this season, we'll go back and look at Hanley at the same level.
Hanley in Low A 2003 at 19: 422 AB's, 73 K's, 35 XBH'S (8 hr's), .275/.327/.403
Gregorio Petit in Low A at 20: 287 AB's, 44 k's, 23 XBH'S (9 hr's), .289/.349/.446
Yes, Hanley was 1 year younger, but he was also a little more experienced entering that season than Petit was entering 2005. It should also be noted that Petit is considered one of the better defenders at shortstop in all of the minors.
After 2003, BaseballAmerica had Hanley as the #19 prospect in all of baseball. Now after 2005, they might not even have Petit in the top 20 of just the A's system.
Why, because Hanley has "tools"? How about a little production?
Injury history Career to this point Prior success in the AL Mike Lowell isn't attatched to him Left handed
Beckett over Zito
Age Velocity Time until FA Current salary WS MVP
Now, is it just me, or is it clear that Barry Zito should have more value than Beckett? Now, in my opinion, Hanley Ramirez (whom the Fish got for Beckett w/ Sanchez) is never going to amount to anything in the major leagues. BUT he is still viewed as a top 15-30 prospect in all of baseball. Anibal Sanchez is also considered somewhere in the top 50.
What does that mean for the A's? I think it's only good
Here the A's get everything they can ask for in a deal for Zito. The deal is almost exact to the one's we saw the A's hold out last season for Hudson and Mulder. The Mets do this deal because they're set on trading Petit and they have little room for Victor Diaz, especially if they trade for Manny Ramirez.
The Good 2 guys that step right in to help and another that isn't far away Petit can be used in another deal - He'd have to interest the Reds as the start of a deal for Dunn. Diaz would likely DH, but he'd allow you to move Payton's $4 mil if need be. The Mets would have money to sign Zito longterm, again keeping him away from the A's rivals
The Bad While Heilman seemingly turned the page last season with a spike in velocity, he still posted bad numbers as a starter You again may not have Zito's replacement right away
The Verdict The best deal the A's can get. Diaz would be one of the best hitters on the team. While Heilman may not be as good of a starter as we'd hope, he'll at least be a good arm to put in near the end of a game. Petit is a top 20-30 prospect in all of baseball and will be ready probably by mid 2006. If you'd want to trade Petit, the Reds would probably consider him close to enough for Adam Dunn.
Keep supporting the site. I'll continue to have updates throughout the offseason.
Again, the A's may not get a replacement for Zito right away, but they get what the organization needs. The Dodgers have a surplus of talent and can use a horse like Zito to step into their fragile rotation.
The Good: Tiffany would instantly become the best left handed pitching prospect in the system LaRoche has more power potential than anyone in the system Broxton is very near ML ready and would be a welcomed flame thrower Tiffany and/or Broxton can be used in a deal for a bat
The Bad Tiffany and LaRoche remain a couple years from contribution Broxton struggled in his brief time with LA last season The A's would need to look elsewhere for Zito's replacement
The Verdict It's too tempting to pass up, even without someone who would start in 2006. The 3 prospects the A's are getting would possibly all find their way into the A's top 5. Sending Zito to LA would probably keep him away from the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels as the Dodgers would be able to convince him to sign long term.
This is a very similar deal to what the A's were trying to get for Hudson and Mulder last offseason. Majewski is a solid bullpen arm, Church is a good outfielder and Everts is a very nice prospect. The Nationals do this trade because they've struggled to make room for Ryan Church and while their system is very thin, they do have a few extra pitchers.
3 good players for the loss of just 1 year of Zito Everts adds a lefty to a farm system that really needs one Church can play left and you can move Payton for a prospect
Majewski is the kind of pitcher that might struggle a little in the AL Everts is coming back from TJ surgery The A's wouldn't get someone in return that could replace Zito right now
The A's would own the Nats 3's rights for a combined 15 years. Church has the potential to be a well above average hitter while Everts has top of the rotation potential himself. It would be hard to pass up on 3 players of this calibre for just 1 year of Zito.
Today was going to be Marlins day, but with all their attempts to dump salary I don't think that would be very realisitc. So tomorrow is a subsitute before the true best option that will come out on Sunday.
This one is short and sweet. It's hard to imagine the Phillies giving up Howard, but if they can't move Thome they may have to lose Howard. They'll have the money to re-sign Zito once he's there so the loss of Howard would hurt a little less. The A's would go from the worst DH in baseball to someone that can hit 40 HR's.
The Good Howard isn't even close to arbitration The offense becomes very close to being a powerhouse
The Bad The A's would be in need of a replacement for Zito
The Verdict The A's would have to jump all over this deal. The main reason for that is simply because Zito has 1 yr and 8 mil left while Howard will still be making near the league minimum for another 2 years. With 8 mil shed in this deal the A's could go out and buy Zito's replacement.
Here the A's get someone who would be one of the better few DH's in the American League while being able to fill in at third, right or left. The A's also get a replacement for Zito ready to step in right away. The DBacks are beyond clogged at 3b/1b/lf/rf and would consider getting someone of Zito's calibre for Tracy if they're unable to move Troy Glaus.
The Good: Words can't explain how much better Tracy is than Scott Hatteberg Nippert is able to step in for Zito now, without any time in Sacramento Tracy isn't even arbitration eligible yet Around $7,000,000 would be saved
The Bad Tracy's power came out of nowhere last season, can he keep it up? Nippert was very good in AAA last season but showed nothing in his brief stint with 'Zona.
The Verdict: A great trade for the A's. Tracy would be the best DH this side of Hafner and Ortiz. The A's would be able to rest Chavez more often because they wont have Keith Ginter filling in for him. Two guys to help now, one of which may be the A's best hitter for someone who might just be the A's #4 starter next season is great for Oakland.
This deal gives the A's 3 players that can help in 2006. Linebrink is an outstanding reliever, Nady could force Payton out of town and Stauffer has the stuff to step in and replace Zito right away. The Padres may not want to move Linebrink if they're going to lose Hoffman, but they can use a pitcher like Barry Zito and I'm sure they'd love having Zito as he is from the area. The Padres can stand to lose Nady because they just refuse to make room for him and they can lose Stauffer if they have Zito to step into the rotation.
The Good: The A's get a lot of help right now The A's do Zito the favor of sending him home
The Bad: Linebrink is already arbitration eligible Unless I'm mistaken, Scott Boras is Nady's agent There are question marks around Stauffer after he bombed in AAA after being demoted from SD.
The Verdict: The contract status of Linebrink and the fear of future contract status of Nady would hold the A's back on this one. Stauffer has potential but too many question marks. A more sure thing of a replacement for Zito could probably be found elsewhere.
Now, I understand some of you might disagree with the idea of moving Zito, so seeing me dedicate a week to the idea might seem a little out there and that's ok. It's of my opinion that the A's best chance to better themselves this offseason is to move Barry Zito. I feel that although Joe Blanton may regress a little bit, Danny Haren will make up for it by getting better next season. I may be naive, but I have confidence in Harden to stay healthy. Zito, to me, is the A's #4 starter. His value comes in that he never misses a start. While the A's could use that, I think they can use other things more. The fact of the matter is that Barry Zito posted a 4.4 ERA in 2004 and a 3.8 ERA in 2005.
This will be a countdown of what I think would be the best scenario running through Sunday. These are trades I feel are realistic for both sides. Comments are appreciated, keep supporting the site.
This trade would actually have the A's get as much talent as any other offer I'll come up with, but the problem is that the 2 prospects are still far away from the major leagues. I feel that losing Zito next year wont hurt that badly, but it certainly wont help and it may in fact cost the A's the playoffs in 2006 if they can't get more ML ready talent. In this deal the A's get another solid bullpen arm of which you can never have too many of, a legit power prospect which the A's lack, and a rock solid lefty SP prospect. The Astros would consider this deal if they do in fact lose Roger Clemens because they really wouldn't have anyone within the system that they'd trust to replace Clemens.
The good: Some things you can never have too many of good relievers and good prospects. The prospects strengths are something the A's don't have any of in the system If you feel you really need more help now, you can always trade the prospects to get ML ready talent
The bad: Who is going to be the #5? That's if you trust Saarloos who may have been a fluke, what if you now need a #4 AND a #5? You still don't have a top pitching prospect that is close to helping you
Verdict: If the A's trade Barry Zito and don't get someone to replace him, they sure as heck better get someone to help on offense. In this trade they get neither. While Patton would look great in Midland next season, Pence just clogs the A's minor league outfield. The A's need help before they need prospects.
Tomorrow Barry Zito is traded to...Well you'll just have to come back and see.
Position: SS Born: 12/10/84 Height:: 5'10" Weight: 160 lbs Bats/Throws: R/R Signed out of Venezuela in 2001 Bonus: $ ???
Petit entered 2005 as a defensive wizard with major offensive question marks. Now that 2005 is over he seems to be a very legit SS prospect. He hit as well as Javier Herrera this season while being less than a year older. Petit was moved around a lot this season to make room for Cliff Pennington spending time at both 2nd and 3rd. Petit's main strength is defense. The word on Petit is that he's a major league calibre short stop right now, despite being years away with his bat. After being a possible late inning defensive replacement a year ago, Petit now looks like he may just have the bat to be a starter in the big leagues.
Projected location to start 2006: Stockton's starting 2B
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Here is the A's BA report card. The Fall League is below. Try to comment if you can, lets see if we can get some draft discussion going. What did you like about the draft? What didn't you like? Comments are appreciated
Best Pro Debut: OF Travis Buck (1) hit .361 at short-season Vancouver and .341 at low Class A Kane County. Vancouver's pitching staff featured several strong debuts. RHP Michael Madsen (21) went 6-1 with a Northwest League-best 1.69 ERA. Deceptive LHP Brad Kilby (29) went 2-0, 1.95 with 14 saves and 38 strikeouts in 28 innings, and his setup men were even more dominant. Hard-throwing RHP Jason Ray (8) had a 2.12 ERA and 56 whiffs in 30 innings, while finesse LHP Brad Davis (14) had a 0.52 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 35 frames.
Best Athlete: SS Cliff Pennington (1) is an ultimate gamer who also has very good tools. He can hit for average with gap power, and he has plus speed and arm strength. SS Justin Sellers (6) has a lot of the same traits.
Best Pure Hitter: Buck hits line drives all over the field and hangs in well against lefthanders. He homered just three times in his pro debut, but he has the potential for 20-25 annually if he gets stronger and looks to drive the ball more often.
Best Raw Power: C Anthony Recker (18) still needs to adjust to pro pitching, but he's very strong and is dangerous when he makes contact.
Fastest Runner: Pennington, Sellers and OF Mike Massaro (13) all have above-average speed. Pennington has exceptional instincts on the bases, and Sellers' are good.
Best Defensive Player: Pennington and Sellers have similar hands and range, but Pennington has the better arm. His rates a 65 on the 20-80 scouting scale, while Sellers' is closer to average.
Best Fastball: No draft prospect lit up radar guns as consistently as RHP Craig Italiano (2) did during the spring, when he threw in the mid-90s and touched 98 mph every time out. Fellow high school RHPs Jared Lansford (2), Vince Mazzaro (3) and Scott Deal (5) all can hit 93 or 94 mph. Ray threw 93-95 mph once he moved to the bullpen as a pro.
Best Breaking Ball: Ray has a hammer curveball. Italiano has improved his breaking ball from a slurve to a true slider, and if it keeps getting better, he could be another Brad Lidge.
Most Intriguing Background: Lansford's father Carney won an American League batting title in 1981 and a World Series with the A's in 1989. His uncles Phil and Joe were both first-round picks, and Joe also reached the majors. Sellers' father Jeff pitched in the big leagues. SS Zeke Parraz' (25) brother Jordan is an outfielder in the Astros system.
Closest To The Majors: Pennington has the skills and savvy to breeze through the minors. He could be Bobby Crosby's double-play partner in Oakland at some point in 2007.
Best Late-Round Pick: Madsen doesn't have overwhelming stuff but he wins with his 89-92 mph fastball and decent curve. He went 24-9 at Ohio State and started the Cape Cod League all-star game in 2004.
The One Who Got Away: 1B Justin Smoak's (16) power, switch-hitting ability and defensive polish would have made him a supplemental first-round pick if not for his $1 million asking price. He was the highest A’s pick to go unsigned.
Assessment: Known to prefer college players, the A's crossed teams up by taking six high school pitchers (the draft's riskiest demographic) in the first seven rounds. Oakland wanted to add some quality arms, and the prepsters were the best ones on their board.
You've seen the guy comment a lot here and he posts frequently on the ESPN A's board. I asked a couple weeks ago for your top prospect lists and this is the only one I got, with a little John Sickels letter grade to go with it.
Mr. Drucker was recently kind enough to grant me some time to answer a few questions. Please keep in mind that he took this time out of his way while still recovering from Hurricane Wilma.
A's Future: What was it like when you were informed the A's had selected you?
Scott Drucker: I was thrilled when the A's called and drafted me, especially since they had already drafted Derek Tharpe earlier in the day. Always have been a fan of the moneyball system and you got to love the white cleats. It was a dream come true really, especially since I had transferred schools and was just trying to play and still have fun.
AF: What round of the draft had you expected to go in?
SD: I expected to go anywhere from the 8-15th round, from what I was told, but then again you can never really believe all the hype. Also you try not to think about it that much since the college season was still going on.
AF: Just a few months after pitching for Tennessee, you were a key reliever for a Vancouver playoff run. What was that like so short into your career?
SD: The college transition to pro ball was very fun and quick. There was a little hold up in contract negotiations, but I got out to the 'Couv and joined a very talented team. (Self proclaimed "Team Kick Ass"). I learned a lot from the various managers and the other teammates who I had even played against in college and summer leagues. It was great to win the division in such a tight race and do the whole champagne celebration, but we went 3 and out in the playoffs and the bus trip from Boise was soooo long.
AF: Was your adjustment to professional baseball made easier by your former Vols teamate Derek Tharpe being on the team?
SD: The adjustment was very easy for myself, one because I had a fellow Volunteer with me, but also because I tend to be a very social and talkative person with other teammates. We also had some other SEC alums on the team, so we would all share stories and try to top each others homeruns or nice plays we saw in the league.
AF: How was the adjustment between college and the minor leagues?
SD: The adjustment between college and the minors at first was very similar. By playing in the SEC (the best baseball conference, unless you are arguing with Kurt Suzuki or another West coast player), we face the top pitchers and hitters always, which is relative in my first season of pro ball. When I got out to the Cali league it was much different. The hitters are smarter and the defense always makes the routine plays, and the amazing ones. You see a lot of people that know the game and play very smart and it is much quicker.
AF: After a promotion from Kane County to Stockton and after pitching very well in both Vancouver and KC to begin your career, you struggled a little bit. What do you feel was the cause of that? The Cal Leauge being such a notorious hitters park couldn't have helped.
SD: When I was in the 'Couv and KC I was a closer. I knew when I was coming in the game, and had a scouting report on the couple of hitters I was going to face. When I got promoted to the Cali league, I was converted into a starter. I knew I had to learn a better change up and be able to pitch for 4+ innings at least. I hadnt started a game since I was at Florida. The hitters in that league are very good and the ballparks play to their favor, but you do need to learn to pitch down and hit your spots. You dont get away with much in that league. Its been a great transition and I enjoy doing the starting routine. I get to see the game from the stands on the days Im not throwing and scout the opponents.
AF: Now that we're in the offseason, what have you been up to?
SD: I am back in Miami right now recovering from hurricane Wilma. We still have no power and aren't expected to get it back until Nov 22. When I am home during the off season I usually bartend at a club in South Beach or DJ.
AF: When it's time to report back to the A's, how do you learn when and where to report?
SD: The A's contact us usually around Dec or Jan and send us info on whether we are going to drive or fly to spring training. They need to know this to make plane reservations or send you driving per diem.
AF: You were a member of the Ports when Danny Putnam had his grape incident, what was that like? Did it go from funny to scary pretty quickly?
SD: I wasnt in the locker room when Danny swallowed the grape, but Chad Bradford was with us and noticed it, and got our trainer. At first our trainer thought it was a joke, but he realized if Chad was telling him this, it must be serious. It was very scary to hear, but he was ok and had to miss a couple games on the road. We even put signs up near the food next time that said "Grapes are in the fruit salad., Put look out"
AF: You make your home in Florida, what was it like having to play 3,000 miles away in Stockton?
SD: I do live in Miami in the off season, but also have a house in Gainesville Florida (home of the gators). It was fine playing far away from home. The only thing that was hard was calling my parents after the games, because it was so late over here. Luckily when I was converted into a starter they knew when I was throwing and didn't have to wait up and wonder when I was going to throw like when I was a reliever.
AF: Who has been the toughest hitter for you to face?
SD: I don't think there is one actual hitter that I thought was difficult. Watching guys from the stands, you can tell good hitters. I enjoyed watching Brandon Wood, howie kendrick, ian stewart, and daric barton.
AF: What would your scouting report on yourself consist of?
SD: Scouting report on myself....hmmm.....fb, cb, change 88-92 good sink and life to the ball, change up is still in the works. Curve is the out pitch.. works both sides on the plate, needs to keep the ball down or will get hurt.
AF: What are some of your goals for not just next season, but your baseball career?
SD: Goals for baseball, are to continue to improve in every aspect of the game. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. The seasons are long, but when they are over you miss them and count down to spring training. I want to continue my success with Oakland because I know it is a great organization and they move guys around. I want to be starting pitcher and learn possibly another pitch and work on having more repeatable mechanics and delivery.
AF: Thank you so much again for your time Scott. When I have the interview posted I'll send you a link to see how it turned out. I really do appreciate you helping me out.
SD: No worries man, glad I can be of assistance.
Scott Drucker split time between Kane County and Stockton last season and Vancouver the year before. He pitched for the University of Florida before transferring to the University of Tennessee. The A's took him in the 13th round of the 2004 draft.