Before the current Trevor Bauer, Jarrod Parker was the Diamondbacks Trevor Bauer. After Tommy John surgery and as crowed bevy of minor starters emerged– included Bauer, Barry Enright, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin–Parker became expendable.
The D-Backs dealt Cahill to the Oakland A’s in exchange for their ace, Trevor Cahill this past offseason. The A’s also received outfielder Collin Cowgill and reliever Ryan Cook in the deal. It seemed like a can’t miss deal for the D-Backs, however a quarter of the way into the season there’s legitimate reason to think that it was a miss for Arizona.
Cahill struggled in 2011, making him expendable in the A’s minds so they quietly dealt him to the D-Backs. Cahill has improved a bit this season with a good, not great, start Arizona. He’s posted just a 2-4 record, but has an adequate 3.65 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. His walks are elevated and his strikeouts are down, but he’s basically doing what a number-3 starter should be expected to do. However, early returns on what the D-Backs gave up don’t show that it’s enough.
On Sunday, Jarrod Parker made his 4th career start. While he got the loss in a 3-1 game, he for the most part went toe-to-toe with defending AL Cy Young and AL MVP Justin Verlander of the Tigers—not bad for a rookie a couple years removed from surgery. Parker allowed 2 runs in 5.1 innings while striking out 5 batters against a potent—but struggling—Detroit offense. In each of Parker’s four starts he’s gone at least five innings and allowed two runs or less. The budget minded A’s could have a much less expensive version of Cahill in their rotation for years.
While Cowgill has struggled, the other piece of the deal might be the biggest story. Ryan Cook has been among the best relievers in the AL. Cook has been nasty for the A’s, allowing no runs and just four hits while striking out 17 in 17.1 innings, continuing a trend that saw him save 19 games in 2011 at Double-A and Triple-A.
The jury is still out on the deal, but the Athletics are definitely getting major contributions for the pieces they acquired from the D-Backs.