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A’s lock up another starter: Trevor Cahill signs five-year extension

Checking in from Chicago, where the A’s begin a three-game series against the White Sox …

Right-hander Trevor Cahill signed a five-year contract extension today worth a guaranteed $30.5 million, meaning the A’s have two of their top young starters locked up with long-term deals. They signed Brett Anderson to a four-year, $12.5 million last April. Cahill’s contract kicks in with this season and runs through 2015, with the A’s holding a $13 million club option for 2016 and a $13.5 million option on 2017. Cahill could have been eligible for free agency following the 2014 season, so he’s potentially giving up three seasons of free agency if the A’s pick up his options. However, if that happens, Cahill will be collecting $57 million over seven seasons, which is a large chunk of money.

The A’s could have saved lots of money locking up Cahill around the same time they signed Anderson. Cahill went on to make the All-Star team last season and won 18 games, driving his price up. But I don’t blame them for not acting that quickly. They had no idea what they had in Cahill at the time Anderson signed. “This is always sort of a guessing game for when the club makes a commitment or when the player makes a commitment,” A’s GM Billy Beane said. He added: “I would probably say in all my years here, I don’t’ know that I’ve seen somebody make such great strides in such a brief amount of time as Trevor.”

–Here’s tonight’s lineups, with Conor Jackson starting in right field and Andy LaRoche playing shortstop against lefty Mark Buehrle.

A’s: Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Jackson RF, Willingham LF, Ellis 2B, Matsui DH, Suzuki C, Kouzmanoff 3B, LaRoche SS. Braden LHP

White Sox: Pierre LF, Beckham 2B, Rios CF, Konerko 1B, Quentin DH, Ramirez SS, Morel 3B, Castro C, Lillibridge RF; Buehrle LHP.

–Good news for the A’s: Andrew Bailey threw from the mound for the first time since going on the DL, and his forearm felt good after his 20-pitch session. He’ll throw again in 2-3 days. Bad news for the A’s: Rich Harden felt soreness in his right side while warming up, and his live batting practice session was scratched. He won’t get back on the mound for the time being. That lat muscle is the same problem area that landed him on the DL to begin with (though the A’s list the injury as a shoulder strain) …

That’s all for now …

Joe Stiglich