The small-market Athletics appear to be interested in locking up a few of their young talented players. According to several reports, the A’s are interested in locking up 1B Daric Barton, and pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez.
Barton, 25, could be signed up through his arbitration years. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle also cites that there is a good possibility that the A’s could sign Cahill through his arbitration years as well. Oakland has already locked up Brett Anderson and Kurt Suzuki, and it certainly makes sense for the team to lock up the rest of their young players.
Barton did play well last year, but the A’s first-baseman did not hit for much power. Compared to his previous seasons, however, Barton played better. He hit .273/.393/.405 with 10 HR and 57 RBIs. In 2009, he appeared in just 54 games and hit .269/.372/.413 with three homers and 24 RBIs. And back in 2008, Barton hit just .226/.327/.348 with 5 HR and 47 RBIs.
He’s shown some growth as a player, and he’s become one of the better defensive players in the game. The A’s certainly value defense, but they’re certainly not getting a ton of power out of Barton either.
Cahill won 18 games last season and established himself as one of the promising young stars in Oakland’s stacked rotation. A lot of critics will say Cahill was lucky in 2010, but even if he was, Cahill’s 2011 season numbers should still be solid. Just don’t expect another ERA under 3.00.
Pitching is what will keep Oakland in contention for the most part, and locking up guys like Anderson, Cahill, and Gonzalez is crucial for the organization’s future success. Gonzalez, who went 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA last season, also deserves a multi-year deal.
The A’s are heading into the 2011 season with a ton of young [cheap] talent, but let’s hope that talent remains with Oakland for a few more seasons…