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".
"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".