Trevor Cahill swap, a.k.a. Statistics vs. Scouting: Round ... well, I've lost count

      December 9, 2011 @ 14:58:55 PDT



Cahill worth it?

You want me to speak?

When I point at you, yeah.

OK, my turn.

I guess Billy Beane is riding high off the success of the Moneyball movie - well, as high as the Oakland Athletics would set him up to do. He just fleeced Kevin Towers' Arizona Diamondbacks in bringing the talented Jarrod Parker to the Oakland Athletics.

We'll have more on this deal in Monday's Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove, but here's a rant to tide you over.

Kevin Towers, the ultra old-school GM, probably looked at Trevor Cahill's performance in 2010 and increased K's in 2011 and, thinking he needs one more starter to make it that extra round in the playoffs, pulled the trigger. Heck, the high-K, post-Tommy-John-surgery Parker (23 years old) was just one member of a stellar young arms trio with Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs. Win now, right?

Well, as fantasy baseball managers know, Cahill is a groundball-heavy pitcher, which, OK, should limit some damage in his new home park. And, yes, his K/9 increase was all well and good. But it went "all the way" up to 6.37. This is hardly a pitching profile you trade Parker and a useful fourth outfielder type (Collin Cowgill) for.

I guess KT needed his new Joe Saunders. Is Cahill's significant other a looker? That obviously means he's good.

Cahill will be only 24 in March, so maybe there's a chance his dominance blossoms more, but he just doesn't seem like that type of pitcher. Most of his high-K output came in the low minors - hardly a beacon of translation to the bigs over the duration of a career.

Why trade a young, controlled power arm - which becomes much more valuable at bat-boasting Chase Field - for one that looks to permit more contact? And how can you consider Craig Breslow a commodity you should trade for, like it's the tipping point of the deal? You can sign guys like that from the minors ... or off the street!

Alas, the numbers versus scouting debate continues. I believe in using both in perfect harmony. But this round goes to stats.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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