If you are like most and wondering why the surprising A's, still in contention, would wave the white flag and trade Rich Harden for a pair of marginal outfield prospects, a pitcher and a catcher hitting around the Mendoza Line in Class A, check these guys out:
Lefty Gio Gonzalez, a key piece in the Nick Swisher trade ...
Righty Trevor Cahill, 20, their top homegrown pitching prospect ...
And righty Brett Anderson, 20, a key piece in the Dan Haren trade.
As if they needed any more young pitching, the A's have already had a stacked young rotation. They are enjoying breakthroughs of Pitch-22 (good enough to start, once too valuable in relief) Justin Duchscherer and Haren trade chips Greg Smith, 24, and Dana Eveland, 24 -- a new-wave Big Three if you will.
Minor League stats
Interested in seeing how your favorite prospects are performing in the minor leagues? You can find a player's stats on his page or you can sort stats for Triple-A and Double-A by clicking here.
That terrific trio above appears to be well on its way to setting them up well in the long term with the next wave.
Gonzalez is the closest, having the most minor league experience and proving dominant of late in Triple-A. In the past month, he has posted strikeout totals of 13, 12, seven (twice) in four of his past four starts. He has allowed just two earned runs in the past 21 innings, striking out 27.
For the season, Gonzalez is merely 6-6 with a humble 4.56 ERA, but he has a .239 batting-average against and 110 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings. The 49 walks are alarming, but after the Harden deal, Gonzalez went out and posted six one-hit innings Wednesday night, fanning seven and walking just one.