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Sunday, May 08, 2005


Byrnes, baby, Byrnes!

Due to lack of better things to think about (putting off vaccuming the place), I thought I'd do a little more speculation on the possibility of the Sanders for Byrnes trade. There's a lot of talk over on Athletics Nation, and Oakland in general, about the A's desperate need for power. They need some extra base hits in a bad way. (Hmm, that's funny, I've always admired Chavez for his consistency). Before delving into the stats of the whole thing there are a couple of quick, speculative points that come to my mind. First, Byrnes has a reputation (deserved) for being a hard working, no-BS player. He's not super talented, but think opposite of J.D. Drew's attitude toward the game. La Russa loves those kind of guys, and can usually get some performance out of them. Heck, look at Bo Hart, and Byrnes is certainly more talented than that. The second point relates to some thinkning about the salary considerations of the trade and the ability to grab a bullpen guy (surprise, surprise the bullpen came up). What if Byrnes isn't the only player Jocketty picks up? What if they deal Reggie and maybe someone else for Byrnes and an Oakland bullpen pitcher. My first thought was, "sweet, we could get Kiko back," but then I looked at the rest of the A's pen. It obviously wouldn't be Houston Street; the A's have too much future expectations for him, especially if they 86 Dotel. Dotel definitely ain't in the trade with his $4.7 million salary. But wait, what would the Cards really like to have; hmmm, a right hander capable of some steady long relief might be one thing. Oakland righty Justin Duchscherer fits the bill for that. He's experienced, has pitched pretty well in the AL, and comes cheap at less than $400K. Before I say more, let me state again, this is ALL SPECULATION, nothing more than the mad ramblings of a crazed Cardinal fan. So, let's look at Duchscherer's stats. This year in 17 2/3 innings over 13 games, he's got a 1.53 ERA, with 15K and 3BB. His worst performance of the season was May 3 against TEX where he surrendered 2 ER in a single inning. In 2004, pitched 96 1/3 innings over 53 games, with a 3.27 ERA, 32BB and 59K. In the 2003 and 2001 he saw some limited duty as a spot starter, and who do the Cards have now that could do some spot starting? Brad Thompson is on the active roster now, and Wainwright or Gissell could probably come up from Memphis for the occasional opportunity to face 4 or 5 innings of big league hitting. Those guys would be fine, but I would imagine a guy with at least some major league experience would be prefered. I don't know. Again, this is totally speculative. Don't put too much stock in any of it. However, I'll bet if the A's are in trouble (they are) and even Mr. Moneyball himself is worried about making the playoffs and sustaining the legitimacy of his theory; they'll be looking do some improving. I don't know. Again, this is all speculation.
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