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Arbitration Avoidation: Dallas Braden

December 13, 2011

Dallas Braden has signed a $3.35M contract to pitch for his pretty-much hometown Oakland Athletics in 2012. The deal includes $400K available in what Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle describes as,

“performance bonuses, all very reachable.”

No further details about said bonuses are yet available (or at least can yet be found). Braden missed most of the 2011 season after going down with a shoulder injury in April. In 2011 he pitched only 18 innings spread across three starts, putting up 7.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9 for a 3.64 FIP to go along with a 3.00 ERA. He was worth 0.3 WAR on the year. For his career which began in 2007 with the A’s, he has a 3.99 FIP with a 4.16 ERA sporting 5.6 K/9 commensurate with his being a slop thrower, 2.6 BB/9 and 0.8 HR/9. While Braden might not be the A’s best pitcher he is clearly a clubhouse leader and is as fearless as they come. He is of course best known for pitching a perfect game in 2010 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Mother’s Day.

While last year his injury made him a loser in terms of salary versus his value as per FanGraphs ($3.35M was his salary to offering only $1.4M in production) it really will not take him very much for him to earn his $3.35M and I anticipate he will. Reports indicate that he should be ready to pitch in April and ought to be fully recovered to contribute to the A’s at that time.

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