On Monday night, Jarrod Parker of the Oakland Athletics almost became the second MLB pitcher in the last week to throw a no hitter. Entering the eighth inning with his pitch count already the most of his big league career, Parker hung a slider too far over the plate, which allowed veteran batter Michael Young to end what could have been a memorable night. This isn’t the first time Parker has put on a brilliant performance for the A’s, as he has been nothing short of stellar since being called up in the middle of April. However, Parker represents one of many Athletics stars that may be lost before the season’s end.
Perhaps the most infuriating part of Michael Young breaking up Jarrod Parker’s bid at a no hitter in his rookie season, was the fact that the eighth inning was Parker’s most efficient on the night. Entering the eighth inning, Parker had used 107 pitches in the first seven, before only needing six to get out of the eighth. The small sample size of last night’s brilliant performance resembles a trend that Oakland fans have experienced throughout the years. That is to say, they have seen their fair share of stars put on a brilliant performance, only to be traded because they wanted to be paid for the talents.
Parker is one of several Oakland Athletics stars, that will eventually need to be paid ‘core player’ money, if the Athletics intend to compete with the heavyweights in their division. Realistically, after his incredible performance, fans, media and sports betting enthusiasts alike, couldn’t help but wonder who Parker will play for this time next year. As we have seen annually for the past 15 years, anytime Oakland starts developing really good players, they are quickly shipped out. On the rare occasion that Oakland resigns a player, it is either for a short-term deal, or they make a mistake.
For example, the Athletics were not supposed to contend this year for a playoff spot, after shipping out pitchers Trevor Cahill, Andrew Bailey, Brad Ziegler, Gio Gonzalez and position player Ryan Sweeny. Instead, the Athletics were supposed to lose 100 games, and receive an excellent draft position for the 2013 amateur draft. If this pace continues, the Athletics are developing prospects at a quicker rate. Meaning to say, because the Athletics are one of the best teams at drafting, but poorest teams in the MLB, they often find themselves on the short end of the stick.
Parker, and most likely, Josh Reddick, and Tommy Milone, and Jemile Weeks three core players, could all be jettisoned by the offseason. As we noted earlier, the Athletics struggle with attendance issues, they need a new stadium, and their budget is incredibly low. If all of this was not enough, the Athletics haven’t been to the post season since 2006. With this being the case, the Athletics are in as desperate need for the MLB to institute a salary cap so that they can keep homegrown talent, as they are at winning baseball games. For this reason, the Athletics may lose their future stars, because the team can’t afford to have blue-chip prospects play up to their potential.