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Royals Offered Myers for Anderson

December 10, 2012

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that before settling on their big deal to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis from Tampa Bay, the Kansas City Royals attempted to acquired A’s left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson straight up for Wil Myers. He tweeted,

“Myers for Shields wasn’t only straight-up deal Royals tried. KC offered Wil Myers to Oakland for Brett Anderson and were turned down, too.”

Billy Beane turned down Dayton Moore on this one and I largely agree with the decision. The A’s have an abundance of talent in the outfield presently and while Myers, the most recent Baseball America MiLB Player of the Year, its unclear where the 23 year old would fit. This past season with the Northwest Arkansas Travelers and Omaha Storm Chasers he hit a combined .314/.387/.600 in 591 plate appearances slugging 37 home runs. In Omaha specifically he had an impressive .400 wOBA and 137 wRC+ in 439 plate appearances with the Pacific Coast League franchise. Myers is an undeniable talent, ranked the 28th best overall prospect by Baseball America entering 2012, but the A’s just didn’t have a great place to put him as he has primarly played center and right field and it is unclear how he would handle the transition to left (see Yoenis Cespedes‘ difficulties making that transition).

In Brett Anderson, the A’s have a left handed pitcher with a relatively affordable contract as he is set to earn $5.5M in 2013, with club options for 2014 ($8M) and 2015 ($12M), especially when viewed against the money free-agent starters are getting these days where Joe Blanton gets two years/$15M and Dan Haren gets $13M for a season of work. Anderson’s big issue is staying healthy, he hasn’t played a full season since 2009, but when on the mound he has been pretty darn good as in 68 career starts spanning 406 innings he has pitched to a 3.57 ERA, in line with a 3.53 FIP throwing 6.9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and allowing 0.8 HR/9. He has been worth a grand total of 8.6 WAR in his career, but when you think about it he has pitched about two full seasons of baseball meaning he is a 4.3 WAR pitcher if he stays healthy. That is a big if, and that is the only reason this trade is one that should even be considered. If Myers were a shortstop, I think this deal gets done, but with Myers being an outfielder, even though that could give the A’s the luxury of moving some pieces, this deal seemed a non-starter.

The A’s do not need to be subtracting pitching right now, but they most certainly do need pitching and with Zack Greinke off the board and Brandon McCarthy off to the desert, one has to worry about the price of available starting pitchers quickly escalating. The A’s need to continue to use the advantage of the Coliseum being a great place to rebuild value, or just being a great place to pitch. Hopefully they can make a play on some of the available arms.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. gatling permalink
    December 10, 2012 2:53 pm

    I think it depends on when the trade was offered. If it was after McCarthy signed, I would agree. If it was before that, I think you make the trade and resign BMac. Six years of control over Myers is worth the $2 million in extra salary, potentially higher risk in McCarthy vs. Anderson, and losing control over a pitcher in 2015. As good as Reddick was, he could regress. Having a guy like Myers in the fold helps to protect against that as well as being a building block for 2014 and beyond(the point where Cespedes may be heading out).

    • December 10, 2012 3:03 pm

      That is a fair comment to make but I think the A’s probably don’t sign McCarthy either way. I don’t think he got an offer from Oakland as good as the one from Arizona otherwise I think he is still here. I think Myers is definitely valuable but especially given the fact that Oakland looks to compete in 2013 we can’t do so with a rotation lacking so many pieces. We need McCarthy + someone, or presently Anderson + someone to really compete, I think. I do wonder though when this offer was made because it might change one’s perception. But unless the A’s already had McCarthy signed, I wouldn’t consider it, and I think my concerns would still be the same. Anderson’s advantage is he is way cheaper than McCarthy so he could allow the A’s to still sign a Jurrjens, Karstens, Marcum or Villanueva type.

      • gatling permalink
        December 10, 2012 5:45 pm

        I doubt McCarthy got as good an offer from the A’s either, but if Anderson was traded McCarthy essentially fits into his salary slot, Anderson isn’t any cheaper. Anderson makes $5.5 million in 2013, McCarthy makes either $6.5 million or $5.25 million depending on how you want break down the signing bonus(the A’s year to year budget makes me think it’s better to just lump it all into the first year’s accounting). Anderson makes $8 million base salary for 2014 if his option is picked up(if it’s not…he’s hurt and not trading him looks even worse) and then there is at worst a $1.5 million buyout on his 2015 option, putting him at $9.5 million for that year. McCarthy would make $9 million if you put the whole signing bonus into the payroll for 2013, $10.25 if you spread it out. Either way, it’s $15 million for each over those two years. The only difference is control over Anderson for 2015 at $10.5 million and the difference in injury risk. I don’t think those things added together are enough downside to pass on Myers.

        The only way I think passing on Myers is justified is if the A’s were scared off by McCarthy’s medicals. If that was the case, fine. Outside of that, this seems like a missed opportunity to add the kind of impact bat the A’s don’t have in the system and are unlikely to land via the free agent market(without a convoluted situation like giving away two years of control over Cespedes). And I say that as a huge believer in Addison Russell, btw. Myers is just on another level with the bat.

        I tend to agree on trading for one of Harang or Capuano, and would love to see Villanueva signed, Karstens to a lesser extent. I think those names sort of illustrate there are enough other options available that pulling the trigger on Anderson for Myers regardless of having someone like McCarthy under contract or not will be something we as A’s fan will look back on as a major missed opportunity.

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