Monday, November 28, 2005

Love That Loaiza

Sweet. Esteban Loaiza is the newest member of the Oakland A's rotation. Loaiza was a late-round draft-day addition to my fantasy squad in his career-year of 2003, and ever since I've felt warmly disposed towards him. His 2005 season was solid too (217 IP, 3.77 ERA, 173 K, 55 BB), marred only by the Nationals' inability to score runs. Loaiza's 2005 production bears a striking similarity to Mr. Barry Zito, he of the 228 IP, 3.86 ERA, 171 K and 89 BB. Yet few would utter their names in the same sentence; Zito was once one of the "Big Three", but Loaiza's 2003 season was considered by many to be an undeserved fluke. That there was a reason for his breakout - he'd added a new pitch to his arsenal - was conveniently ignored.

At an average $7 million a year, Loaiza is just the sort of value-pick needed by the A's. Oakland continues to boast a rotation where every member has an ERA below 4.00. Just as important: The entire salary for the A's starting rotation equals what the Blue Jays will pay BJ Ryan and Miguel Batista. JP Ricciardi may have studied at the feet of the master, but he still has lots to learn.

Bottom line: No one thinks of Loaiza as an elite pitcher, but he's unquestionably a top-25 guy in either league, and he's affordable. Who wouldn't want one of those?

4 Comments:

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

In Billy We Trust. You just made my day Avi,although don't you think this means the A's are about to move Zito?

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Athletics Nation is saying this may end up in the A's moving Barry. What I find most interesting about this post, though, is that the A's may be looking at Nomah or The Big Hurt as a DH. I am fine with Frank, but I can't handle the thought of Nomah in a A's uni. Uggh. Ever since he sat out that series against the Yankees, and sulked on the bench while Jeter practically busted his face running down a foul ball, I have loathed that man.

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

Well, if they move Zito, they've just replaced his production (I'm guessing for less $ than what they would have had to pay Zito), and they'll have gained some bodies back. Result: Better off.

If they don't move Zito, they've got both - and a great chance at the playoffs.

It's a no lose proposition.

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

And let me say this again, because I still can't believe it:

The entire salary for the A's starting rotation equals what the Blue Jays will pay BJ Ryan and Miguel Batista.

 

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