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Miles
12-18-2004, 08:33 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1949157



ESPN.com news services

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics traded their second top starter in three days, sending left-hander Mark Mulder to the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday for a package of prospects.

The deal, first reported by ESPN's Peter Gammons, could provide the Cardinals the ace starter they sorely lacked when they got swept by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.

Mulder follows Tim Hudson out of town, leaving Barry Zito as the only remaining member of Oakland's vaunted "Big Three" pitchers. Hudson was dealt to Atlanta on Thursday for three mostly unproven players.

In return for Mulder, the A's acquired pitchers Danny Haren and Kiko Calero and minor league catcher Daric Barton.

"We're extremely excited to have obtained a pitcher of Mark's caliber," Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He is the top of the rotation-type pitcher we've been working hard to obtain this offseason. It was difficult to part with the three players we traded but to acquire someone like Mulder we felt that this deal worked for us in several ways."

Mark Mulder started the All-Star game for the AL last season, but pitched poorly down the stretch.

Mulder replaces Woody Williams, who was not offered salary arbitration by the Cardinals and signed a free-agent deal earlier this month with San Diego. Mulder will join Chris Carpenter, Jason Marquis, Jeff Suppan and Matt Morris in a rotation where all five pitchers won at least 15 games last season. Morris might not be available until May after going undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

Mulder might have some health questions of his own, especially after his perplexing finish to last season.

The 6-foot-6 lefty, the AL starter in the All-Star game, seemed destined for Cy Young award consideration midway through the season, but went winless in his last seven starts -- 0-4 with a 7.27 ERA.

On Aug. 24, he became the first 17-game winner in the majors, then didn't win again. There was speculation he was hurt and not telling anyone.

Mulder missed the end of the 2003 season with a stress fracture in his right leg near the hip, then pitched a team-high 225 2-3 innings in 2004.

He repeatedly claimed to be healthy despite a drop in his velocity late in the year. Manager Ken Macha said the day after the season Mulder probably did become worn down by his heavy work load.

Mulder (17-8) pitched so poorly during the playoff push, the A's briefly considered skipping his turn and using September callup Joe Blanton during the final weekend against Anaheim. Mulder did get the call, but was knocked out after two innings, his shortest outing of the season -- and the A's wound up missing the playoffs for the first time in five years.

He was drafted second overall by the A's in 1998 and was signed through the 2005 season with a club option to return in 2006.

After Hudson was swapped to the Braves, the news of Mulder's departure was even more shocking. At least in Hudson's case, there had been rumors swirling.

"What, you've got to be kidding me," outfielder Eric Byrnes said of Mulder being traded. "Wow. I don't know what to tell you."

Haren, a 24-year-old right-hander, was 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 14 games, including five starts, in three stints with the Cardinals last season.

Calero went 3-1 with two saves and a 2.78 ERA in 41 relief appearances for St. Louis in 2004, allowing a .176 opponent batting average.

Barton was the Cardinals' first-round pick (28th overall) in 2003. He spent last season at Single-A Peoria, where he batted .313 with 13 home runs and 77 RBIss.

This was the first major league trade between the clubs since the A's dealt Mark McGwire to St. Louis on July 31, 1997, for T.J. Mathews and minor league pitchers Blake Stein and Eric Ludwick.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Deberg_1990
12-18-2004, 08:35 PM
Moneyball strikes again!! Man,Oakland is starting to turn into the Kansas City Triple AAA Royals!

Phobia
12-18-2004, 08:36 PM
I was gonna make a Skully comment, but I'm too witty for that, so I'll leave it for somebody else.

Miles
12-18-2004, 08:36 PM
Im pretty damn excited about this. I was worried the Cards were not going to get their ace when all of the FA's got signed and Johnson and Hudson got traded.

Going to be interesting to see how Oakland recovers from dealing their two best starters. Im thinking that it may show that the whole "moneyball" theory is crap.

tk13
12-18-2004, 08:44 PM
I was waiting for this thread... pretty good pickup for the Cardinals. They had to do something considering their whole middle infield (catcher included) left in FA and they'd lost out on Hudson and Randy Johnson. That catcher, Molina, is going to have a lot of pressure on him to be effective and call good games next year having to replace Matheny and work with this pitching staff...

Some people might look at Billy Beane and Oakland and think he's nuts, but he has acquired a wealth of outstanding arms this week. He's turned one or two more years of the "big three" into 4-5 more years of good pitching. They've got pitching prospects coming out the wazoo...

KevB
12-18-2004, 10:21 PM
Im pretty damn excited about this. I was worried the Cards were not going to get their ace when all of the FA's got signed and Johnson and Hudson got traded.

Going to be interesting to see how Oakland recovers from dealing their two best starters. Im thinking that it may show that the whole "moneyball" theory is crap.

I'm not so sure he's an ace. He fell apart down the stretch, and he's had some injury issues. He is a nice pickup though.

KevB
12-18-2004, 10:22 PM
Moneyball strikes again!! Man,Oakland is starting to turn into the Kansas City Triple AAA Royals!

Um, no. The difference is that Beane is restocking what is already a deep minor league system.

Miles
12-18-2004, 10:28 PM
I'm not so sure he's an ace. He fell apart down the stretch, and he's had some injury issues. He is a nice pickup though.

Yeah im a little concerned about his final few months last season. They were pretty rough. I think he may have had some troble with back spasms which may have been part of it...though im not really sure.

Other than that stretch he was under 3.5 era the prevous three seasons.

Ultra Peanut
12-18-2004, 10:29 PM
**** Mark Mulder and his children.

Frazod
12-18-2004, 10:55 PM
I'm pissed that they had to give up Haren. He was the only Cardinal pitcher who threw worth a shit in the WS.

:cuss:

Demonpenz
12-19-2004, 12:52 AM
baird at to say this per royals.net when asked what happened to hudson going to kc

"Our talks with the A's broke down when we mentioned we were the kansas city royals"