This one is pretty easy. Chad Gaudin kills righties and makes perfect sense coming out of any team’s bullpen. The Oakland Athletics need relievers, well, healthy relievers. Gaudin comes cheaply since he’ll be cashing two paychecks (roughly $700k from both, Oakland and the Yankees), and his performance speaks for itself.
Through nearly 600 career innings in the Majors and with 75 starts, somehow Gaudin has maintained a decent FIP at 4.5.What makes that career FIP interesting is that, as mentioned, he is a righty killer, but lefties punish him. As a starter, Gaudin would face lineups loaded with southpaws. His career totals for batters faced are 1,267 lefties and 1,389 righties, which only makes sense, given that Gaudin has a career 5.16 FIP versus lefties and 3.97 versus righties.
If used in a strict role where Gaudin only faces batters of the same hand, it would be easy to see him performing better than his FIP projections of 4.58 (CHONE) and 4.42 (ZiPS). Also worth noting: Those projections include a combined 52 starts. Expectations for his performance would alter by something like an entire run per nine innings if he became a full-time reliever.
The move represents a return to Gaudin’s old stomping grounds. Oakland is actually the organization in which Gaudin has pitched in the most games for as he did so during a three-year stint that stretched between 2006 and 2008. With the collective health of Andrew Bailey and Michael Wuertz questionable and opening day a week away, Billy Beane recently added Edwar Ramirez to the bullpen mixture as well.
One more time for redundancy’s sake: This move just makes sense.