Y`s Guy wrote:When Billy looks at his starting staff he has got to smile. He knew that keeping the Big 3 was impossible and it looks as if he has done the best he can to morph the staff into something that can keep the A’s challenging for the AL West title for years to come. Though this season may be a stretch.
We all thought the man was crazy for tossing away Mulder and Hudson. I guess being in Oaktown helped us understand that they both could not be kept but who would have thought that these two guys were getting bounced and not Barry Zito? Zito must not have been getting the response Billy Beane was hoping for.
I am looking at the A’s staff. Topped with Barry Zito and then the up and coming Rich Harden they have two very good young veteran arms.
Danny Haren is a 24-year old right hander. His record in the higher leagues of baseball are not too impressive. Beane is gambling here but the upside is terrific.
Joey Blanton is a guy we have bantered about since last season. Another 24-year old righty and with absolutely mad control. He will be a star, too. It’s almost a toss-up between him and Meyer.
It is Dan Meyer who really has me intrigued. He is a 23-year old lefty with exceptional control throughout his pro career. 38- to 87 K/BB in the minors. Not bad at all. He is my #1 rookie SP prospect for a possible late-round pick. He may the better k getter than Blanton.
I agree. Beane's building for the future because he knew he wouldn't be able to keep Hudson and Mulder. I think he also knows that Zito's value was at an all-time low after last year, so if he was going to make a trade at all, it didn't make sense for it to be Zito. In addition, Hudson's K rate dropped last year (and it's rumored that his splitter won't be used as much anymore) and Mulder had a mysterious hip problem late last year. That's just speculation, but it certainly adds fuel to the burning fire.
Anyway, about the pitchers:
1. Harden- legitimate future ace. The guy just brings the heat. Nothing more.
2. Zito- still a solid, crafty veteran. Maybe he's been figured out a little and his curve isn't being thrown for as many strikes, but he can still be at least servicable. He won't be as bad as he was last year.
3. Haren's interesting, as you said. He's not electrifying, but he owns solid stuff to eat up good quality innings.
4. Meyer is their best pitching prospect now, as you said. Plus he's lefty.
5. I don't think as highly of Blanton as you do, because he doesn't really have really amazing stuff. His control is impeccable, though. He doesn't have ace potential, IMO, but certainly is more than capable at 2/3, which is what he'll do.
And don't forget Daric Barton in the Mulder deal. He's near Young and Kotchman for best pure hitter in the minors.