Another Day, Another Oakland A’s trade
Billy Beane’s frenetic December continues with the A’s trading one 25 year old, left-handed starter for another. The Rockies get Brett Anderson and $2 million, while the A’s receive Drew Pomeranz and minor league right-hander Chris Jensen. To me, this looks like another clear win for the A’s.
Anderson had a terrific rookie year at age 21 in 2009, but elbow problems which ultimately resulted in Tommy John surgery ruined most of the next three seasons. He came back late in the 2012 season after the surgery and pitched extremely well in six starts. However, a stress fracture in his foot ruined most of his 2013 season, and he didn’t pitch particularly well when he returned from this injury in late August.
Meanwhile, Pomeranz has been a disappointment in Denver, but he’s a former No. 2 overall draft pick, and I suspect a big part of his past problems relate to the difficulty in trying to develop pitching prospects in Coors Field, MLB’s worst park by far for pitchers. However, it needs to be noted that Pomeranz has pitched much worse on the road than at home during his time with the Rockies.
Not only will Pomeranz be leaving Denver, but he’ll now be pitching his home games at the Oakland Coliseum, one of the five or six best pitchers’ parks in MLB. I will not be at all surprised if Anderson looks terrible pitching for the Rockies next year, while Pomeranz suddenly seems to put it all together in Oakland.
Additionally, the A’s get a pitcher who is a year younger (Pomeranz just turned 25, while Anderson turns 26 in February), much less expansive and under team control for five more seasons, compared to two for Anderson. The A’s threw $2 million into the deal, but that’s nothing compared to what the A’s will save by swapping Anderson for Pomeranz. The A’s also get a B-grade pitching prospect who pitched fairly well at Class A+ Modesto last year at age 22.
Getting a young, inexpensive pitcher who still has a lot of upside for an injury-prone starter you don’t really have room for is pretty much the definition of a no-brainer.