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More Rule V Discussion and the A’s Add Threets

December 9, 2011

 

I wanted to go a bit more in depth into the Rule V Draft from yesterday. I touched upon it, saying that I wished the A’s would select Erik Komatsu formerly of the Washington Nationals and now with the St. Louis Cardinals. The 24-year-old all-three-positions-of-the-outfield-outfielder split 2011 between the Huntsville Stars of the Southern League and the Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League posting a .277/.367/.382 slash line with seven home runs in 521 plate appearances. While his .367 OBP was impressive, it actually is worse than he has averaged in the minors thus far where it is at a .389 mark (in fact at .302/.389/.434 for his MiLB career 2011 was a down year). I was equally impressed not only by the walks but about how so rare these days was the fact that Komatsu was near even in walks (64) and strikeouts (66). St. Louis clearly saw something in Komatsu to select him after the A’s took a pass. I find it just so curious because much has been made of the A’s lack of outfield depth. Currently we have one outfielder with significant MLB experience: Ryan Sweeney. Next up we have Brandon Allen who conceivably could play left but is in the 1B/DH mix right now, Jai Miller (73 MLB PAs), Michael Taylor (35 MLB PAs) and Jermaine Mitchell (0 MLB PAs) round out the options. That is very limited experience which while foreboding and problematic in a host of ways really makes it easy to add a Rule V pick who is required to stay in the Majors all season lest he be offered back to his original organization. This seems like one of the few opportunities where such a proposition doesn’t seem like such a pain and where the roster spot may be more than just open but welcomed to be filled.

While there are a host of reasons that the A’s could avoid a selection in the Rule V it seems that this sort of opportunity was a real good one for the A’s to potentially steal away a hitter that they have had such difficulty developing themselves. We will see what comes of Komatsu but at 24, he enters a more cluttered outfield situation in St. Louis and could very well end up back in Syracuse or Harrisburg on behalf of the Nationals organization – missed opportunity on a very low-risk deal. Even if Komatsu isn’t your guy, with a vacant roster spot it seems foolish to have not considered any outfielders there had to be one out there who represents an upgrade (with only four outfielders on the 40-man roster, with most teams carrying five on the 25-man once the season begins the upgrade of something over nothing is an obvious one) or at least a chance to become Oakland’s fifth outfielder this year – by comparison he becomes St. Louis’ seventh outfielder on their 40-man.

In other news the A’s signed a MiLB pitcher today as per Matt Eddy of Baseball America who tweeted,

“Athletics ink LHP Erick Threets (30) to minors deal”

Threets has pitched in MLB baseball having had stints with the Giants (2007 and 2008) and White Sox (2010). He missed all of 2011 having undergone Tommy John surgery. In 24 2/3 MLB innings of relief work, Threets has posted a 3.28 ERA, a sloppier 4.78 FIP (owing to a bad 4.7 K/9 and even worse 5.5 BB/9) and uber-sloppy 5.70 xFIP (he has only allowed one HR in his career making his HR/FB a very low 3.6%). He features a mid-90s fastball and likely only represents extreme organizational depth in the minors though you never know every year it seems someone surprises and makes it out of camp.

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