Tuesday, March 30, 2010
30 A's in 30 Days – Chad Gaudin
Acquired: Signed as free agent (March 29, 2010).
Contract: One year thru 2010. (Eligible for free agency after season.)
Position: Long reliever, mop-up, "Anvil".
Projected ERA: 4.72
Over/Under: I'm always going to have a soft spot for Gaudin. In June 2007, I flew out to the east coast for a long weekend with m'man Nick'a and caught an A's/Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. Gaudin got the start for Oakland (vs. the Yanks' Kei Igawa(!)) and no-hit the Bombers for 5 1/3 innings. Gaudin and Rich Harden(!!) combined on a one-hitter as the A's won 7-0 – powered by back-to-back home runs from Jason Kendall(!!!) and Shannon Stewart.
Sadly, that was probably Gaudin's career apex. In his next start, he gave up just two runs in 7.2 innings vs. Seattle. After that, his ERA was 6.30 in his final 16 starts. He'd lose his spot in the rotation for good in May 2008 – to make room for Rich Harden, of all people – before being traded to the Cubs with Rich Harden in July of that year. I'm not sure how much Gaudin's got in the tank after spending the past season-and-a-half in an extended stretch of mediocrity with the Cubs, Padres and Yankees. He's always walked too many and been prone to the long ball. And, now he's nearly three seasons removed from the best run of his career. OVER.
By the Numbers: 1 – According to our friends over at Baseball Reference, Gaudin's #1 comp is former Phillies, Braves and Rockies pitcher/beanpole Starvin' Marvin Freeman. Believe it or not, kids, there was a time when spindly African-Americans took the mound with great regularity. 20 years ago, the game featured guys like Freeman, Oil Can Boyd and Chuck McElroy. If I'd been born 10 years earlier…
Surefire 2010 Prediction: Gaudin's Neidhartian goatee – which toured National League parks during his time with the Cubs and Padres – will become the most annoying broadcast talking point for this season once he's grown it out a few feet.
Snoop Dogg Track for the Season: Chin Check