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Slugger Chris Carter has finally found his stroke
Of course, the Oakland A's couldn't have magically gotten to where they are just by adding pieces in 2012. Some of their hottest hitters and pitchers were added or drafted earlier. Here's a quick look at the biggest contributors.
Carter was acquired in a trade between the A's and Arizona Diamondbacks which sent Dan Haren to Arizona. Carter took a little while to finally figure out Major League pitching, but A's fans are more than happy now is that time. The trade also gained Brett Anderson and Carlos Gonzalez, who was dealt for Matt Holliday.
Carter is adding stability at first base. Anderson is solid.
Billy Beane signed Balfour to a two-year deal worth just over $8 million after a one-year tryout. Balfour nailed the tryout and has produced well since.
A 2.88 ERA and 19 saves mixed with veteran leadership out of the pen. Not overwhelming, but very solid.
McCarthy earned a $1 million deal to play for a year in Oakland. From there, he earned another year's worth of work, this time for $4.275 million. He's been bit by injuries, but when he pitches, it's quality. Much of his contract can be attributed to leadership too.
The A's took a chance on a "no-name" pitcher trying to find himself in 2011. He found himself, they re-signed him, still for a bargain, and he's been nothing short of effective.
The A's signed Griffin in the amateur draft of 2010. He debuted this year and in "no big deal" fashion, he's 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA, the first rookie in baseball to start and win his first six games.
Looking at how he was acquired and what he's done so far, this grade doesn't really need an explanation.