A’s trade away Cahill in latest fire sale

A’s general manager Billy Beane loves —sorry — LOVES to trade his good, young players before they get to free agency.

Some notable A’s players dealt while still under contract with A’s: Tim Hudson. Mark Mulder. Dan Haren. Rich Harden. Nick Swisher. Carlos Gonzalez. Huston Street.

And you can add Trevor Cahill to that list, as Beane has sent the young righty to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a couple of prospects.

It’s a puzzling deal, considering the A’s just signed Cahill to an affordable five-year, $30 million deal in April. That original deal included two team options for 2016 and 2017. Beane just traded a player they had under their control for the next SIX years!

The final option year is worth $13.5 million. That’s less than the top free agent pitcher, C.J. Wilson, got in annual salary this offseason. I think it’s safe to say Cahill is a better pitcher than Wilson.

If you’re scratching your head right now, trust me, you’re not alone.

The A’s will get back one good prospect, Jarrod Parker, a former first round pick in 2007. Baseball America ranks him as the fourth best prospect in the Arizona system. But he is not their best prospect. I just can’t believe the A’s are trading Cahill without holding out for Arizona’s best young player. The A’s also get outfielder Collin Cowgill, who hit .354 in the minors in 2011 before getting called up in July, and reliever Ryan Cook.

Baseball America’s outlook for Parker is positive: “Parker has a good chance of securing a rotation job in spring training. He’s yet another Diamondbacks pitching prospect with frontline potential.”

From the perspective of the team on the other side of the Bay, the Giants can’t be too thrilled that the Diamondbacks just added to their already-strong rotation without subtracting from their major league roster.

With Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders, Josh Collmener and Cahill, the D-Backs now have five young, durable starters that will allow them to stay at the top of the NL West for the next few years and the Giants should be worried.