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Baseball Told the Right WayIn-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!
A's deal for Kendall.
The A's made a deal for catcher Jason Kendall this weekend, shipping starter Mark Redman and reliever Arthur Rhodes to the Pirates.
Kendall is going to be a great addition to the A's. His power has completely disappeared since his days before a horrific ankle injury, but he's an excellent bet for an OBP around .400. There is at least an outside chance his power magically returns, but even if he continues to be strictly a singles hitter, getting an .400 OBP from your catcher is incredibly valuable. He'll slide nicely into the top of Oakland's order.
Even if the A's are loaded with guys who get on base, and conspicuously lacking guys to drive them in, Kendall will be better than Damian Miller, and the A's offense will be better.
Suprisingly, (or maybe not if you follow the A's) their pitching doesn't really get any worse. Rhodes was pretty much expendable after last year. He's talented, and there is a decent chance he might rebound, but Rhodes is 35 and Oakland had the 3rd best pitching staff in the AL despite the damage of his 5.12 ERA.
Redman? Who cares. The A's don't need him. When they signed Redman, it was to be a placeholder. He got a 3 yr/$11.5M contract from the A's, but it was atypical because he only made $2.25M last year. So its no suprise the A's traded him. I remember talking about how the A's would trade him, and sure enough.....
The A's didn't need a starter for three years, with Joe Blanton ready in the pipeline. So they enticed Redman, who had a bad year but was a decent placeholder, with a three year deal that was heavily backloaded. Billy Beane was planning this the whole time. He got a 5th starter worth $4M for $2M, promptly traded him when he got expensive, and now the Pirates will be overpaying Redman to be mediocre in Pittsburgh.
And what about the Pirates? They'll be overpaying Redman, but not by all that much. There is a decent chance he could earn that $4M with a move back to the NL, where he had his best years. Rhodes, I wouldn't count on, but he could come back and be a valuable reliever. But in all reality, the Pirates picked up two average-ish players for one of the most reliable catchers in the league.
But they saved money.
The Pirates made this deal because of the cash they save. Make no mistake about it, on a purely personnel level, the Pirates got fleeced. But after taking into consideration the cash the Pirates sent to balance out the remainder of Kendall's 6yr/$60M contract, the Pirates will save $15M over the next three years.
So basically, the Pirates traded Jason Kendall for Redman, Rhodes, and whatever that $5M a year will buy.
Unfortunately, its the Pirates. That $5M will probablly go to some distant relative of Derek Bell, or maybe they won't even bother. Please excuse my negativity, but its really hard to get excited for any move the Pirates make. They haven't done anything but tread water for the last DECADE, so why should this year be any different.