Braden’s Days With Oakland Over?
The exploratory surgery that Dallas Braden took to examine how his shoulder was (not) healing, revealed that he has a torn rotator cuff – a different injury than the torn capsule that had him sidelined and for which he was treated and allegedly recovering from this year. In other words, this is a new separate injury that occurred in his recovery from the initial injury. What does this mean? This means effectively his career with the Oakland A’s is over.
Braden whose most famous moment was clearly his Mother’s Day perfect game, is a big clubhouse leader and a fan favorite. But how can one justify keeping him on a pitching staff that will presumably be full and could even be further stocked with a free agent arm or from within as guys like Brad Peacock look to make the jump to the next level and guys like Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin ready and to add to the riches Brandon McCarthy talking about wanting to stay. Braden is being paid $3.35M this season and will not take the mound once. Arbitration eligible, there is no way that he is offered arbitration which would result in a raise despite numerous questions about his health.
If this is it, Braden finishes his career with 7.6 WAR across five seasons, a 4.16 ERA and 3.99 FIP. The soft-tosser (his top average mph on his fastball came in 2009 at just 87.9 mph) has logged 491 1/3 innings putting up 5.6 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and 0.8 HR/9 with an expected .295 BABIP and somewhat low 69.1% strand rate. Perhaps a result of his soft stuff along with pitching in the Coliseum, Braden has always benefited from a very low HR/FB at just 6.7% meaning his xFIP is decidedly higher at 4.53 but I would discount that as he has consistently kept his HR/FB low and that seems to be where it’ll stay.
If the A’s can re-sign Braden on an incentive laden cheap deal he should be welcomed back, but frankly the A’s probably even assuming he is healthy (a seemingly big assumption) probably have greater talents ready to go in the rotation. Seems to be the end of an era.