About Russ Springer: Can A's Count on Success to Continue?

Jeff FletcherContributor IJanuary 25, 2009

Now that everyone seems to be sure the A's are signing Russ Springer, let's take a look at whether it's a good move.

First, Springer's numbers last year in St. Louis were pretty good: 2.5 K/BB ratio, .216 opponents BA, 1.13 WHIP.

It was his third consecutive solid season, which you remember from this post. He's the only middle reliever in the majors to have posted an ERA of 3.50 or better in 50 or more innings over each of the past three seasons.

The question is whether he can continue that now that he's 40. Over the past 20 years, there haven't been too many relievers in their 40s who have had productive seasons. Only 29 of them have pitched 50 innings, and only 15 of those have had ERAs under 4.00. Doug Jones was responsible for two of those seasons with the A's, and two others with other teams.

If Springer can buck all of those trends, putting together a rare fourth consecutive good season and doing it at age 40, more power to him. I wouldn't hold my breath though.