Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 12/9/11
Los_angeles_angels_07a7

The Oakland Athletics traded a pitcher on Friday but it wasn’t the oft-mentioned Gio Gonzalez who headed north to Arizona.

The A’s traded three-year starter Trevor Cahill, along with left-handed reliever Craig Breslow, to the Diamondbacks for a collect of three prospects: starter Jarrod Parker, reliever Ryan Cook, and outfielder Collin Cowgill. It’s a fairly uninspired return for a young pitcher who compiled more than 200 innings in 2011 and won’t turn 24 until spring training.

With a 90 mph fastball, Cahill doesn’t have a huge ceiling but he’s durable and produces above-average ground-ball rates, which should serve him well in the desert. He’s also signed to a team-friendly contract through 2015 with two option years which could keep Cahill in fangs through ’17. I won’t focus much on Cahill because Zach Sanders is breaking down Arizona’s side of the trade.

The top prize coming back to Oakland is former first round draft pick (2007) Jarrod Parker. I recently ranked him the second best prospect in the Diamondbacks system behind 2011 first rounder Trevor Bauer. I had this to say about him:


Parker has bounced back nicely from his injury with the help of rehab, and made his MLB debut in 2011. He features a low-to-mid-90s fastball, slider, and changeup. The right-hander doesn’t strike out a ton of guys right now but his rate should increase as he improves his command post-surgery and matures as a pitcher… At his best, Parker should top out as a No. 2 starter. With the memories of his TJ surgery still lingering in people’s minds, his durability may be questioned for a while but he has the potential to have a long career as a Major League starting pitcher.

Parker is a nice addition. He has six years of team control remaining and, if he reaches his potential, the right-hander’s ceiling surpasses Cahill’s. It is a bit of a gamble, though, especially with his injury history.

Neither Cowgill nor Cook appeared on the Top 15 prospect list and both fell into the 16-20 range.

For me, Cowgill is more of a platoon outfielder than a future starter. The 25-year-old appeared in 37 games for Arizona in 2011 and produced a wOBA of just .270. He has below average power for a corner outfielder and doesn’t have the range to play center field on a regular basis. Although the outfield depth is thin in Oakland right now, a number of the club’s top prospects are outfielders – including Grant Green and Michael Choice – and will soon descend upon The Coliseum making Cowgill expendable yet again.

Cook, 24, was dealt at a perfect time because his value is at an all-time high after a breakout season. Prior to ’11 he was an inconsistent starter with pedestrian results but a move to the bullpen vaulted him onto the prospect landscape. He possesses a mid-90s fastball but lacks consistent control and is still working to improve both his slider and changeup.

Arizona just acquired a young No. 3 pitcher who’s under contract, , for another six seasons for a potential No. 2 starter and a couple of extra pieces. It was a great move by Arizona General Manager Kevin Towers and a questionable move by A’s General Manager Billy Beane.

With Cahill now in Arizona, it makes Joe Saunders more expendable and there have been rumors that he could get non-tendered at the deadline on Monday night. More likely, though, The Snakes will find a trade partner for the pitcher given the relatively barren free agent market.

Even with the potential loss of Saunders, Arizona will enter 2012 with an exciting, young staff of hurlers that could include Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill, and Josh Collmenter. Waiting in the wings are prospects Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, Pat Corbin,

* * *

The last time Oakland and Arizona teamed up for a big trade the Athletics came away with a pretty favorable haul of young, controllable talent that included left-handed starter Brett Anderson, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (who was later flipped to Colorado) and first baseman Chris Carter, while Arizona ended up with veteran hurler Dan Haren.

The veteran pitcher compiled 15.1 WAR during his two-and-a-half seasons with Arizona and was later flipped to the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Joe Saunders and another haul of youngsters including pitchers Tyler Skaggs, and Pat Corbin.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Colts become favorites to win AFC with Brady suspended

Dodgers reportedly acquire Mat Latos and Michael Morse

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Troy Tulowitzki felt 'blindsided' by trade to Blue Jays

Drew Storen not happy about Jonathan Papelbon trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kraft apologizes for accepting team Deflategate penalty

RG3 reportedly showing improvement during offseason

Nick Saban addresses rumors of interest in Longhorns job

Garoppolo back in spotlight after Brady suspension upheld

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong, replaced a broken phone

49ers OC: Kaepernick didn’t regress as much as believed

NFL requests police guard Roger Goodell's Maine home

Baseball Hall of Fame changes voter eligibility rules

Atlanta Hawks should not be overlooked next year

Baseball's antitrust exemption: Its uncertain scope

The Cubs-White Sox trade that would rock Chicago, MLB

Cincinnati Bengals could look at signing WR Reggie Wayne

Brandon Marshall on marijuana tweets: ‘I was just kidding'

Key & Peele show SportsCenter if it was about teachers

Mets continue to act like a small-market team

What would a Cole Hamels trade look like?

Luther Campbell jabs FSU coach over decommitment

WATCH: Royals infielders combine for incredible play

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Who is the National League's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker