The A’s just signed pitcher Trevor Cahill to a five-year deal worth $30.5 million, and the team appears to be interested in locking up the rest of their young core players. Last season, Oakland locked up Brett Anderson and Kurt Suzuki with extensions, and this year the A’s have a few more players left to sign.
Gio Gonzalez, 25, I would have to assume, will be locked up sometime in the near future. The A’s southpaw is an important member of Oakland’s highly-touted rotation, and is off to a tremendous start this year. In two starts this season, Gonzalez has gone 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA.
Gonzalez’s career numbers are not as impressive as Cahill’s, which should help drive down the price for Oakland, but his quick start is an indication of his potential and upside. The A’s shouldn’t wait around for much longer to get a deal done with one of their brightest young arms.
The A’s also have the decision as to whether or not they want to lock up 1B Daric Barton. As Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle wrote in a previous article, the A’s first-baseman is eligible for arbitration after this season.
Do the A’s really view Barton as a vital piece of their future?
So far in his career, Barton has failed to live up to all the hype that once surrounded him after being sent over to Oakland in the Mark Mulder deal.
Last season his did show some progression, hitting .273/.393/.405 with 10 HR and 57 RBIs in 159 games for Oakland. He proved to be a solid defensive player last year, posting a .993 Fielding percentage, 14th best among all active first-baseman. However, the A’s need power, and with Barton don’t get much power.
He’s a career .258 hitter, and has never hit more than 10 homers in a single season. Is he somebody Oakland views as their future? If so, what does that mean for a guy like Chris Carter?
Carter possesses more power than Barton, and he’s better fit at first rather than in the outfield. Barton does get on-base, and fits the whole Moneyball criteria, but he doesn’t possess a whole lot of power.
The A’s will say that they will not take a hit on defense in an effort to add more power, but there’s no denying the fact that this team desperately needs power. The A’s are hitting just .224 as a team through the first 10 games of the season, and Barton is hitting just .200 with no home runs and one RBI.
The A’s have plenty of decisions to make this season, and hopefully they make the right ones.
Who do you think the A’s should lock up next?