Posted By Jeff Fletcher on January 11, 2009 11:44 am
Now that the A’s have beefed up their offense with Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi, should they turn their attention to the pitching staff?
Right now Justin Duchscherer, Sean Gallagher and Dana Eveland are probably locks for the rotation (ignoring, for the time being, that Duchscherer and Gallagher have health issues). The other two spots figure to go guys like Dallas Braden, Gio Gonzalez, Josh Outman or prospect Vince Mazzaro.
Doesn’t exactly have you rushing out to get your World Series tickets, does it?
The real studs of the organization are Olympians Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson, but both of those guys are probably a year away. Look for each to get to the big leagues sometime this season, but not as full-fledged rotation members until next year.
So the A’s probably ought to consider getting a guy like Randy Wolf or Jon Garland. Both are free agent, semi-dependable, affordable starters. Who’d be better? Wolf was 12-12 with a 4.30 ERA last year, but he finished strong (6-2, 3.57 after the Astros got him in July). Garland was 14-8, 4.90 with the Angels. He got lit up pretty good toward the end of the season. Garland is 29 and Wolf is 32. (Coincidentally, both of these guys went to high school in LA’s San Fernando Valley. I used to work there and I covered Wolf a lot, but Garland came a little after I was done covering high schools.)
My vote would be for Wolf.
If Billy Beane really wants to make a splash — and when doesn’t he? — he could sign someone like Ben Sheets or Andy Pettitte. Both are upper-tier pitchers with issues that could bring them into the A’s price range. Sheets is hurt a lot and Pettitte is 36 years old. That said, I wouldn’t hold my breath for either of those guys.