Saturday, April 17, 2004


I just noticed that Beane traded away RHP Chad Harville to Houston for RHP Kirk Saarloos.

It's an outstanding pick up.

Harville's 27 years old, and despite some good minor league numbers as a reliever, hasn't really put it together in the majors. Houston's no doubt hoping he'll help their bullpen get to Lidge and Dotel.

Saarloos, on the other hand, is 25, and also has had considerable success in the minors as a starter. Preferring flame-throwers like Oswalt and Miller, Houston hasn't really given Saarloos the chance to make it in a big league rotation. Yet despite blazing speed, he's been effective spotting his pitches, keeping the ball down, and changing speeds. Sound like anyone else you know?

The A's have been very successful developing this kind of young pitcher.

This isn't a horrendous deal for Houston. It's just short-sighted. I imagine Harville will help the Astros this year, but when Saarloos turns into Tim Hudson in a couple of years, Hunsicker will join the chorus of how "lucky" Billy Beane is.

With the Redman deal, the development of Harden and Joe Blanton, and now the acquisition of Saarloos, Beane seems welll prepared for the departure of one (if not more) of the Big Three (and possibly sooner than you think). If Beane can keep winning without Hudson, Mulder, and Zito, even Joe Morgan will have to concede that in addition to being a pretty good writer, he really is a pretty smart guy.

GMs have got to learn to stop answering the phone when Billy Beane's office calls.

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