Billy Beane’s Decision To Not Extend Mulder, Zito And Hudson Was The Right One: Money Ball At Its Best

Billy Beane will never spend a king's ransom for Pitchers on long-term deals or for big $$ because of injuries like Tommy John crippling your salary infrastructure for the whole time a player may be out.  Especially with smaller market teams, having too much invested with your pitchers can be catastrophic.  Even though Jarrod Parker is out for the year with TJ surgery, and A.J. Griffin may not be out of the wood for it either, the club is not hampered long-term financially by their injuries.  It hurts yes, but not as much as it could have.  He was forced into realizing the effects from losing Mulder, Zito and Hudson because the team couldn't afford to re-sign them.  But as you will read, it was a blessing.

Billy Beane will never spend a king’s ransom for Pitchers on long-term deals or for big $$ because of injuries like Tommy John crippling your salary infrastructure for the whole time a player may be out. Especially with smaller market teams, having too much invested with your pitchers can be catastrophic. Even though Jarrod Parker is out for the year with TJ surgery, and A.J. Griffin may not be out of the woods for it either, the club is not hampered long-term financially by their injuries. It hurts yes, but not as much as it could have. He was forced into realizing the effects from losing Mulder, Zito and Hudson because the team couldn’t afford to re-sign them a decade ago. But as you will read, it was a blessing in disguise.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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This has been an organization that has thrived on brilliant drafting of young arms. But in saying that. Billy Beane is a manager that will never throw out big dollars to retain Starting Pitching once the club has past the Team Controllable years.

In the early 2000’s, the team featured three ace pitchers in Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder

Billy Beane had to let each of them leave Oakland (in the winters of 2004 – Hudson/Mulder, and 2006 winter – Zito) because they couldn’t pay them the kind of dollars needed to secure them long term.

It was a decision that looked dire to start with while the team struggled from 2007 – 2011, but it also paved the way for a new run at AL West Division supremacy from 2012 to current.

Lets take another look at the decision on how it has worked out since then.

Zito

Zito was a filthy dominant LHP during his days in Oakland.  Crossing the Bay Bridge over to San Francisco began a downward trajectory that he never recovered from.  Zito did fashion a heroic and unexpected winning streak down the end of the 2012 year, that culminated in a World Series Title.  $126 MIL over 7 years was a tough price to pay for it though.

Barry Zito (29) December 29, 2006: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Francisco Giants.

With the exception of the 2012 year, Barry Zito did not live up to his 7 Years and 126 Million Dollar contract he signed with the San Francisco Giants since leaving the Athletics.

Despite a 15 – 8 year for the SF club in that year, he held a 63 – 80 (.441) record for San Francisco lifetime with a 4.62 ERA. The LHP is a Free Agent now.

He was 102 – 63 (.618)  and a 3.55 ERA with the A’s before leaving at the age of 29.   The guy made 18.25 Million in his Oakland days and he pocketed 126 Million with SF.

The only saving grace was that the Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012.

Zito was so instrumental down the stretch for San Fran, and in the playoffs for 2012, it almost up for the $$ spent..  Almost.

Mark Mulder battled a myriad of injuries once he arrived in St. Louis.  A once ace pitcher in Oakland was out of baseball just a few years later.

Mark Mulder battled a myriad of injuries once he arrived in St. Louis. A once ace pitcher in Oakland was out of baseball just a few years later.  The A’s have had several players that have been brought into the organization that resulted from the initial trade in 2014.

Mark Mulder never was the same pitcher in the NL and was out of baseball four years after being traded to St. Louis. 

His A’s career had netted him an 81 – 42 (.659) record with a 3.92 ERA. 

He was only 22 – 18 (.550) and a 5.04 ERA with the Cardinals before retiring. As you will read in this article below, the franchise made a worthy trade in returns for this man. 

Mulder made 25.3 Million in his contract with the Cardinals after making only 8.4 Million with the A’s.

The crafty lefty tried a comeback this spring (2014) before suffering a broken ankle with the Angels.

2. Mark Mulder drafted by the Oakland A’s in 1998. 

December 18, 2004: Traded by the Oakland Athletics to the St. Louis Cardinals for Daric Barton, Kiko Calero and Dan Haren.

Dan Haren went 43 – 34, with a 3.68 ERA for the A’s in his time there.

Daric Barton (28) 1B:  still remains with the A’s – has a .248/.357/.367 Slash in 1713 AB, and led the AL in Walks for the 2010 season.

Kiko Calero (39) RP:  Had a 3.96 ERA in 159 IP from 2005 – 2008 before being released.

Haren was used to trade to the DBacks for Carlos Gonzalez.

CARGO was traded for Matt Holliday, who was flipped to the Cardinals for Brett Wallace, Brett Wallace was the main part coming back from Holliday in the St. Louis trade, and he was later flipped for Michael Taylor from the Blue Jays. 

Suffice it to say, the A’s have carried a lot of future assets from the original flip.  In the fold, is also Drew Pomeranz as a result from the Dbacks trading for Dan Haren, and using Brett Anderson as part of the package from Arizona, that also included Chris Carter (traded for current SS Jed Lowrie).

Tim Hudson (28) December 16, 2004: Traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Atlanta Braves for Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer and Charles Thomas.

Juan Cruz (35) RP:  Traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Brad Halsey. Cruz only played 28 games for the A’s – and brought in a 7.44 ERA.

Brad Halsey (33) RP:  He played one year as a Starter and Reliever for the A’s in 2006, holding down a 4.67 ERA in 94.1 IP.  He was released in 2008 by the club.

After near an 8 ERA (7.98) Dan Meyer was claimed off of waivers by the Marlins, ending his 44 IP worth of work.

Charles Thomas was out of the majors after one year with Oakland.  May 4, 2007: Traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Milwaukee Brewers for JD Closser.

JD Closser never appeared in a big league game for the A’s and was released the year.

Tim Hudson on the other hand, has been one of the better pitchers in the NL for the last decade, still towing the hill for the Giants at the age of 39. 

He was 92 -39 (.702) with a 3.30 ERA for the A’s.  He has since gone 115 – 72 (.615) with a 3.54 ERA for the Braves.Giants  in10 9 years. 

He definitely has been worth the $ invested (117 Million paid when he finishes his deal with the Giants .) He only made 4.5 Million in his 6 years with Oakland. 

The end result

Total Record for 3 other teams is 200 – 170 (.549) with well over a 4 ERA abroad – and they have made 265.8 Million away from Oakland, whereas they were 275 – 144 (.656) – with a mid ERA – and made a total 33.15 Million Dollars with the Athletics. 

I would say Beane made the right decision in not signing them.

With his career winding down and Tim Hudson being 39 years old, he has been able to hold down the fort for the Giants thus far.  Out of the big 3 pitchers once all in Oakland, Hudson has asserted himself well in the decade since leaving the Bay Area.

With his career winding down and Tim Hudson being 39 years old, he has been able to hold down the fort for the Giants thus far. Out of the big 3 pitchers once all in Oakland, Hudson has asserted himself well in the decade since leaving the Bay Area.  Beane was proved right by the total of all 3 players – not just Hudson.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on April 16, 2014, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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