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Have the A’s found their shortstop in Cliff Pennington?

With the A’s having just rolled out of Minnesota, we got a look at their current shortstop in Cliff Pennington and their former one in Orlando Cabrera. This team has a decision to make in the offseason at shortstop, but I’ll say that Pennington has impressed me with what he’s done so far. That leads me to believe the A’s could be better served by spending their free agent money at other positions (third base? veteran starting pitcher?).

Do you think the A’s should move forward with Pennington as their starting shortstop in 2010? Cabrera said upon his trade to Minnesota that he would be open to re-signing with the A’s this winter. Would you like to see him back in green and gold or perhaps someone else on the free agent market?

Joe Stiglich

  • HM

    Cabrera didn’t impress anyone while at Oakland. Pennington is better for less money.

  • ishak

    I think Pennington has earned the starter spot next year. He and Rajai up the middle could be a great double leadoff 1-9 in the order respectively. Keeps the pressure off Cliff to begin the season. I just love the new A’s with their speed on the basepaths. Interesting that O-Cab would come back. Agree that we should sign a free agent power hitter at the corner outfield and 3rd base instead.

  • pdr

    Absolutely agree that the A’s should go with Cliff. Rajai should be the center fielder next year, too. I would like to see the A’s have more speed to bring a much needed added dimension to the team that has been missing since Rickey left.

    Regarding third base, it’s too bad that Billy chose Chavez over Tejada. I really think things could have been different had we stuck with Tejada. Despite what Crosby has accomplished, he’s not the hitter or the fielder Miguel is (maybe the A’s could have traded Chavy and moved Crosby to third? Who knows). I also like to think Tejada’s steroid use started after he left Oakland, but that’s probably just wishful thinking.

    Anyhow, might as well go youth movement and see what happens. Can’t be much worse than things are now. I just hope that when/if the A’s do go this route, they don’t auction off the team again…

  • fumblin’ frank

    Yeah, they should spend their money on a power hitter. Someone like that Matt Holliday on St Louis would be a perfect fit in Oakland!

  • J Canseco

    Forget Cabrera.

  • Lisa

    I think that Pennington has earned a spot with the team considering that he has a good combination of speed, power, and bat control. While he may never hit a lot of HR’s, he has always had a good OBP even when not having a high batting average. He also plays an above average to good defensive shortstop.

  • http://wess1@stny.rr.com wes strzegowski

    Cliff has earned a shot as starting ss next year.

    wes

  • Nodaclu

    I still think this team is building for 2011. And if that’s the case, you need to find out whether or not Wallace can handle 3rd, and at some point near, you have to figure out the whole Barton/Carter/Doolittle thing at 1B.

    A month ago I wouldn’t have included Barton in the mix, but has anyone noticed lately that he’s finally starting to show some signs of life? His average is up to nearly .250, he’s hit all his life, and he’s still only 23.

    Then there’s Grant Green, who may project as a 3B instead of a shortstop.

    If you want a veteran in the rotation next year to teach these kids, you already have a guy in Tomko who wants to come back. Is this a flash in the pan with him? His career stats suggest he’s a .500 pitcher, and if you’re truly building for 2011, that’s an innings eater on the cheap who showed a lot in the CG shutout last time out.

    This team has turned a corner in the last 2 weeks, and is not only showing signs of life, but has become fun to watch for the first time since at least 2006.

    But questions loom…is Raj now permanently a .280-.300 hitter? Will Sweeney finally develop the power everyone seems to think he has? Will Hairston show more next season after half a year of getting used to American League pitching? With power bats on the way that might be able to play the corner outfield spots, do those last two questions even matter?

    Anderson is coming along nicely, Cahill slower, but it’s there – you can see it. To me, Mazzaro hasn’t looked right since his 5th start. Gio needs to learn how to pitch without his best stuff (and a 3rd pitch wouldn’t hurt either). Even before getting hurt, Outman seemed like a fringe guy, much as Braden does – a couple of ‘back of the rotation’ guys for next year. But in 2010, one of those three (Mazzaro, Outman, Braden) or someone from the minors (Simmons?) needs to take the next step, so the front three are ready to dominate in ’11.

    Oh yeah, the question was about Pennington…lol. I’m not sold. I don’t like his range, and he is *not* going to hit .280 consistently at the big league level.

    The flip side though, is that neither Green nor Cardenas project as MLB shortstops, even though they will both hit a ton.

    The infield will be very unsettled next season while several kids scramble for jobs that they could settle into for the better part of the next decade.

    That’s going to be fun to watch.

  • Aaron

    I think Pennington has earned a shot to be the starting shortstop next year. but i dont think he is the long term solution there…. He would an ideal guy to have on your bench. I also think the A’s should bring back Adam Kennedy! And i think Brett Anderson is going to be an absolute stud in a few years !!

  • S Vu

    I’d say pencil Pennington in as SS for 2010.

    Just make sure to not go crazy and give him a Bobby Crosby-like extension.

  • Scott No2

    I like how the “free agent list” has the Scott Boras clients in bold. lol. that’s like a big warning sign.

  • http://contractyear.mlblogs.com Bee Hylinski

    Wow! 11 comments so far, 12 if you count me. Amazing how asking a question gets the lurkers out of the shadows. One positive note is that people are reading the blog, even though they aren’t always commenting.

    I would go with Pennington rather than re-sign Cabrera. I would resign Adam Kennedy as he is a great situational hitter. I really like Kennedy and Davis as the 1-2 punch.

    What the A’s need hitting-wise is a consistent 3 or 4 hitter. Cust is either hot in the beginning of the season and fizzles, or he gets hot when it doesn’t count at the end of a losing season. We need someone who will be consistent at the plate, and who can field their position consistently. Jack made a great catch last night, but he could have gotten a much better jump on the ball, in which case, it might have been a more routine play. Then a few innings later, he completely misplayed a ball off the wall that should have been a double, but the runner wound up at third.

    This is the lineup I’d like to see:

    Adam Kennedy 3B
    Raj Davis CF
    Ryan Sweeney RF
    New Power Hitter LF
    Kurt Suziki C
    Mark Ellis 2B
    Cliff Pennington SS
    Barton/Carter/Doolittle 1B (depends on who does well in
    Spring Training)
    Free Agent DH (NOT Garciaparra, Giambi, Holliday–MUST
    be currently in the American League, no more
    National Leaguers. They can’t hit AL pitching.)
    On the bench: Powell, Hairston, plus one or two from
    Minors or a free agent (Scutaro, anyone, though
    he’s been an everyday player lately)

    AND KEEP THE YOUNG PITCHERS, BILLY!!!

    Next year should be exciting.

  • http://wess1@stny.rr.com wes strzegowski

    I’m pleased with the current September wins. There is a glimmer of hope that the A’s may win 85 to 90 games next year. Davis is my MVP for this year.

    ws

  • http://contractyear.mlblogs.com Bee Hylinski

    Wes, I think it’s a close race for A’s MVP between Raj Davis and Adam Kennedy, thought you should throw Andrew Bailey in there too. They have all been bright spots during a difficult season.

    I think the A’s should try to sign Adam Kennedy, even if Chavvy comes back. Eric is fragile and may go down early in the season. I’d like to have Kennedy there in case. Cust, Casilla, Crosby–all should go. And re-sign Wuertz. That would give us a competitive team with the addition of a middle-of-the-order bat, the only aquisition that Billy should do during the off season, unless someone really tempting comes along.

  • http://wess1@stny.rr.com wes strzegowski

    Bee, I agree with your plan. I would keep Cust for DH and ph. Next year the A’s could 80 games. The year for challenging for the division is 2012.