Big free agents, Ordonez, Colon: A's links

By Jason Wojciechowski on February 5, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Football season is over, and pitchers and catchers report soon. That's exciting!

notsellingjeans at Athletics Nation is fine with the A's keeping payroll at the minimum level required by the CBA for the next four years followed by a monster free-agent acquisition (Bryce Harper? Jason Heyward? Mike Stanton? Mike Trout?) heading into the new stadium. Me, I'm less sanguine about this idea, and I'm not sure it's the direction Billy Beane would want to go even with the money. Loser's curse means that huge free-agent contracts are nearly always overpays, by the very mechanics of an auction. Sure, the team will have more money in a new stadium, but we're not talking about Yankee revenues, so a big mistake can be crippling.

Plus, Scott Boras or not, I wouldn't be surprised to see four out of five top potential free agents have their first couple of years of free agency bought out. The main thing this does is lower the odds that you can get an Alex Rodriguez in free agency -- you're going to be buying almost entirely decline years for most players.

YonYonson has an amusing look at two-sport stars who've played for the A's. The Rickey Henderson high school photo is priceless.

I guess the A's have interest in Magglio Ordonez now? David Wishinsky has a look. I don't see any real way to spin any positive on this. He'd be a DH who doesn't hit much (unlike, potentially, Manny), he'd take time from younger players right at the start of the year (unlike Manny), and there's almost no chance he'd fetch anything good at the trade deadline.

Wishinsky also looks at Bartolo Colon's PITCHf/x data for 2011 and asks whether his sinker was coming in too hot in August. Two problems I have with the analysis: (1) line drives; (2) month-by-month breakdowns. The former is just a matter of some people believing in the data and others not, but the latter is an arbitrary endpoints thing. I'd much rather see some sort of running averages, weighted perhaps, that gives us the entire data set in one view. If Colon made a great start on July 31st and a crap one on August 5th, I'm not convinced we should put those in separate buckets, even as a matter of a rough analysis that isn't trying to be rigorous.

Nico makes that point in a comment at A.N.

The A's also have interest in Koji Uehara.

He's a reliever, so it's just money. There's no such thing as a hot middle-relief prospect who'd get blocked by this deal. It could have 40-man consequences, but those consequences would likely just be Pedro Figueroa or Sean Doolittle losing their spots, which is hardly a tragedy.

Part II of Wendy Thurm's look at players who skipped the minors entirely includes two A's, Mike Morgan, who wound up having a perfectly adequate career (597 games pitched), and Tim Conroy, who didn't really (just two full seasons in the bigs). Ariel Prieto is also in there, but he doesn't really count the same because he was 25.