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A’s Sign Perez and Thomas to MiLB Deals

November 21, 2012

The A’s made two minor moves today signing utility man Darwin Perez and left-handed pitcher Justin Thomas to minor-league contracts today. 2012 proves perhaps more than any year how these seemingly minor November moves can precipitate big contributions for the next year’s squad.

Perez, a 23-year-old Venezuelan who has spent his entire career in the Angels organization, spent all of 2012 with the Double-A Arkansas Travelers where he hit .214/.293/.307 in 460 plate appearances knocking just six home runs. Sabermetrically, he was a very disappointing player with a measly .279 wOBA and anemic 70 wRC+. He has made it as far as Triple-A Salt Lake but that was back in 2010 and in just 13 games there he underwhelmed with a .191/.240/.298 slash line across 53 trips to the plate. This move has to be purely one of organizational depth as he is relatively versatile, though he got off to a hot start in the Venezuelan winter league, I’d expect next to nothing out of him.

The other signing however of Thomas, could be one of some degree of significance. First off all, any pitcher who uses his left hand to pitch is valuable but Thomas has some major league experience as the soon to be 29-year old Toledo native has pitched in the pros for Seattle, Pittsburgh and this past season both Boston and New York. Thomas, a former fourth round pick of the M’s, pitched a combined seven and two-thirds innings the year, notching 8.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 for a better 4.53 FIP to go along with his nasty 8.22 ERA. For his career he has pitched a grand total of 24 2/3 MLB innings for 5.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and 1.5 HR/9 for a messy 6.93 ERA and 5.40 FIP with a grand total of -0.2 WAR. The numbers on Travis Blackley looked equally uninspiring so you never know what an MiLB deal can get you.

In semi-A’s news, Jonny Gomes agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox on a two-year contract, formally sealing the end of his Athletics career. The “Pride of Petaluma”, had a great year in Oakland in a platoon between DH and left field, hitting .262/.377/.491 for a 2.1 WAR campaign in just 333 plate appearances in 99 games. He also slugged 18 home runs and was a key piece of the A’s success and seemingly a big part of their great clubhouse chemistry. Its unfortunate to see Gomes go, but the two-year deal at $10M is double what the A’s apparently offered him and with the acquisition of Chris Young the A’s outfield is even more cluttered than it looked at the beginning of last season. Gomes, was worth $9.7M in production in 2012, so getting two years worth of him for about that price seems a bargain for the BoSox, though not near the bargain Oakland got paying him just $1.0M for the 2012 campaign.

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