The A’s agreed to terms on a one year deal with left-handed pitcher Dallas Braden on Tuesday. With Trevor Cahill now gone, the A’s starting rotation will need Braden even more next year.
He’s been the team’s unofficial leading voice after gaining national attention with his spat with megastar Alex Rodriguez and, of course, after tossing the 19th perfect game in MLB history on Mother’s Day in 2010.
Injuries, however, have put the vocal Braden on the bench. He made three starts this year for the A’s, going 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA before succumbing to a torn capsule in his left shoulder. He underwent surgery to fix the tear in May, and the A’s are hopeful that Braden, 28, will return to have a healthy 2012 season.
The team, rattled with various injuries over the past few years, will take things slow with Braden, though. Braden has proven himself as a very respectable starter in the team’s rotation, and he’s become a source of support for some younger players. Gio Gonzalez, in particular, has given Braden a lot of praise for his helpful demeanor.
In 94 career appearances, Braden has gone 26-36 with a 4.16 ERA.
What do you think? Will Braden come back for a healthy 2012 campaign?