D-backs Acquire Trevor Cahill, Craig Breslow From A's For Parker, Cook And Cowgill

The D-backs went out and got a more experienced starter to add to the rotation along with a prove lefty for the bullpen. The cost was top prospect, Jarrod Parker.

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Trevor Cahill, Craig Breslow And Diamondbacks GM Kevin Tower Discuss Trade

As is customary with such things, the Arizona Diamondbacks media relations staff coordinated a conference call Friday evening shortly after announcing the trade that brought Trevor Cahill and Craig Brewslow to the team. Both pitchers expressed surprise at being dealt but both also seemed pleased to be going to a team in contention.

"I'm glad to be part of a team trying to win right now. Hopefully, there's good things going forward," Cahill said.

He did seem a bit shocked by the news, expressing how much he liked Oakland and how comfortable he was there. He thought, given the A's history with players, that he would have a least a few more years before being dealt.

Breslow, who is 31, seemed a bit more forward-looking in his response. He had spoken with former A's reliever Brad Ziegler who joined the D-backs in July and got a positive report about the team and where it was going.

"Obviously, it's two different organizations going in two different directions and I'm excited to be on the receiving end of this one. I got to a team that's got a chance to compete for a World Series Championship and that's obviously what we're all here to do," Breslow said.

Breslow and D-backs GM Kevin Towers both stressed that the lefty wasn't a typical "lefty specialist" and that he has had good splits in his career against both right-handed and left-handed batters. Righties hit .224 against him while lefties average .227 over his six-year career. He's a guy who can pitch an inning or more in a variety of situations as opposed to a pitcher who would be brought in to face just one batter.

Cahill saw his ERA jump from 2.97 in 2010 (when he won 18 games and was an All-Star) to 4.16 in 2011. He said that he struggled a bit with command last season and also got away from throwing his curveball. 

"Usually I'm just throwing sinkers so if it's down in the zone and it's sinking that day, usually I do good. I've been struggling with command last year. I think that's kind of why I struggled so much," he said.

Even in that "down year" he pitched 207 innings with 147 strikeouts, 82 walks and 96 earned runs. That's certainly not horrible for a guy who said he "struggled".

Towers said it was difficult to give up Jarrod Parker but was possible with guys like Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, Pat Corbin and Charlie Brewer providing starting pitching depth in the system. 

Cahill joins a projected rotation with Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Josh Collmenter and fifth starter as yet to be determined.

"Hopefully, we can keep this rotation together for a long time. We've got four young starters that are as good as anybody in the NL West," Towers said. And he's not done building.

"We see a window here, specifically in the NL West. Winning a division we're in kind of a 'go for it' mode to stay on top of the division. It shows the ownership support to go out and make a deal like this."

That explains why he the D-backs are still in the market for another starting pitcher and / or more bullpen help. The team has an offer out to Joe Saunders and has received a counteroffer but according to Towers, there's a significant gap between the two sides. 

The D-backs have until December 12 to tender him for arbitration or lose him to free agency. They could also sign him to a deal and then trade him.

The team is set as far as position players, according to Towers. With Collin Cowgill being moved in this deal, Willie Bloomquist will start the season as the fourth outfielder if Stephen Drew is healthy. If not, prospects Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock and "knocking on the door". 


Trevor Cahill Traded For Jarrod Parker In Deal Between Oakland And Arizona

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland A's have reportedly completed a trade featuring D-backs prospect, Jarrod Parker and A's young pitcher, Trevor Cahill. Multiple media outlets are reporting the deal with Steve Gilbert and Jane Lee of MLB.com the first to say it's been completed. Also included in the deal are Arizona outfielder Collin Cowgill and RHP Ryan Cook and Oakland lefty reliever Craig Breslow.

Cahill is just 23-years-old but has three years experience pitching for the A's with 96 starts and 583 innings under his belt with a solid 3.91 ERA over that span. The righty is listed at 6-4, 225 pounds and was drafted in the second round of the 2006 draft. He grew up and went to high school in southern California.

Cahill had the fifth-highest ground ball rate in the major leagues in 2011 which makes him a good fit in a rotation with Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson who are more fly-ball pitchers. Trevor's primary pitch is a high 80's sinker. He also throws a slider, change-up and curve ball.

Here's what the A's had to say about him a few years ago:

Trevor Cahill Top 50 Prospects Profile | MLB.com: Minors
"Trevor Cahill has the unique combination of being able to induce groundballs at a very high rate and still be able to have a very high strikeout-to-innings-pitched ratio. Trevor is the quiet assassin type that is extremely competitive and is driven to achieve at the top level. Combine that desire with athleticism, a heavy natural sinking fastball, an out pitch knuckle-curve, intelligence and strike-throwing ability and that equals an elite starting-pitching prospect." -- Billy Owens, A's director of player personnel

Cahill's contract is reported to be $3.5m in 2012, $5.5m in 2013, $7.7m in 2014, $12m in 2015, $13m option in 2016, $13.5m option in 2017 with $800k total buyouts. 

Breslow, 31, is a six-year vet who's pitched well as a lefty specialist. He owns a career 3.06 ERA with a total of 279 total innings over 295 games. He was drafted by the Brewers in the 26th round of the 2002 draft out of Yale. Breslow is arbitration eligible after making $1.4 million last year. He's under club control for two more years. 

The Diamondbacks are giving up one of their top pitching prospects, Jarrod Parker, who was called up in September and even made the playoff roster. He was expected to compete for a rotation spots in 2012. Losing Parker will be painful for many Diamondbacks fans who have waited since 2007 to see him make the team only to have him traded right before getting his big chance.

The D-backs, however, still have plenty of of top pitching prospects with Tyler SkaggsTrevor Bauer and Pat Corbin set to compete for a starting job this spring.

Arizona also gave up OF Collin Cowgill and RHP Ryan Cook.

Cowgill, 25, served well as a fourth outfielder but doesn't appear to have a ton of upside as a hitter although he is a solid defender at all three positions. Cook, 24, struggled in 12 relief appearances with the D-backs last season (7.04 ERA).

The deal adds a proven pitcher to the D-backs rotation who is under control with a good contract and a veteran lefty to the pen. There's no question the trade makes the D-backs more formidable heading into 2012 without sacrificing too much of the future.

The Oakland A's are in cost-cutting mode as they position the team to possibly move to San Jose.

For more on the Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snake Pit.

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