The A’s are having a starting pitcher problem. They currently have three on the DL, two potentially season ending, one underperforming minor leaguer, and a starter who is off and on. With the all the problems the A’s have, they still have a rotation that can hold their own. Can the rotation improve? Of course, every team can always improve, but the A’s have an opportunity to get two capable starters that can add both depth, and a backend of the rotation option. Below I will analyze two available SP, and talk about how that would fit into the rotation.
The first option the A’s have is FA Tim Lincecum. The A’s have been linked to Lincecum multiple times throughout the offseason, and I even wrote an article about it (check it out!), but for the first time this offseason, the A’s have an opportunity to watch Timmy. Lincecum will host a showcase in Arizona on Friday; along with the A’s multiple other teams are reportedly interested in attending, according to John Hayman. Lincecum is currently topping out at 91, but still has his bread and butter pitch, his curveball.
How will Lincecum fit in?
Lincecum is looking for a guaranteed starring role, which would push out one of the current starters. I would personally like to see Tim Lincecum working out of the bullpen as a long reliever, but the A’s may need to guarantee him a starting spot.
What are some positives for the A’s?
Tim Lincecum, native of Washington, loves pitching in the Bay Area, and I would imagine, he would like to stay here. If that is the case, the A’s may have the edge, because the Giants are looking at him as a bullpen arm; something he openly said he does not want.
Lincecum can add a veteran presence to a young rotation (minus 36-yr-old Rich Hill). He has continued to show that he can effectively use his great movement on his pitches to successfully record outs.
What are some negatives for the A’s?
One negative is he would most likely require a rotation spot, taking experience away from a young rotation. Yes, I know in the previous paragraph I wrote about how great he would be in the rotation; bringing a veteran presence, but if he is in the rotation, he takes away a spot from the young Sean Manaea or Jesse Hahn. These players are the future of the franchise, and let’s be realistic here; the A’s are not considered contenders and are not expected to go to the postseason, and do we really need to take away time and experience from some young stars for a guy who is looking for a chance to make a comeback?
Another negative for the A’s is the fact Limcecum is looking for a comeback season. With a comback year, comes a 1-yr deal. If the A’s sign Lincecum, the A’s would have to spend a couple million on a one year, for a guy that is looking for a comeback season.
How would the A’s look with Lincecum?
Depending on which role the A’s choose to use him, the rotation may go:
The second option for the A’s is recently DFA’d SP Jon Danks. Jon Danks has had a terrible season this year posting a 0-4 record with a 7.25 ERa in 22.1 innings pitched. The veteran lefty is 31, signed a huge contract in 2011 (5-yr 65 mil to be exact). The A’s have a couple options, if they choose to try to acquire him. They can place a waiver claim on him, they can make a trade with the White Sox, or they can wait, and if the White Sox release him, they can sign him.
How will Danks fit in?
John Danks will most likely fit in as a starter, a fifth, or even sixth starter in the minors. I don’t see him as a bullpen arm, only because he has no bullpen experience.
What are the positives for the A’s?
One positive is Danks is a veteran lefty, which is sometimes hard to come by.
Another advantage is he may be very desperate for a job, if released by the Sox. He may come on the cheap, and for the A’s, money talks.
What are some disadvantages for the A’s?
One problem for the A’s and Danks is he has historically been a inconsistent pitcher, and as a result, he has had a high ERA and a record of 79-104.
Another problem, just like Lincecum, do the A’s really want to take away experience from young players?
How would the A’s look if they got Danks?
The rotation with Danks can go several ways, but I predict it will go:
1) Sonny Gray
2) Rich Hill
3) Kendall Graveman
4) Sean Manaea
5) John Danks
Depending on how competitive the front office feels the A’s are, will determine if they go out and get a starting pitcher. If they feel, they have a low chance, they may give experience to the young starters, but if they feel the A’a have a chance, they may go out and get a starter.
Should the A’s sign a pitcher?