From 2000 to 2004 the Oakland A's featured one of the best pitching rotations of all time. Lead by Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito, the A's were a consistent playoff contender with exceptional pitching.
The "Big Three" as they were called, made the A's one of the best teams in all of baseball.
Tragically, however, the "Big Three" were dismantled following the 2004 season. Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder were shipped off, leaving Barry Zito the only remaining member of the trio behind in Oakland. After leaving the A's, Hudson and Mulder tried to recreate the magic they had in Oakland for their new teams, while Zito tried to man the fort all by himself.
In 2005 the A's fell seven games short of the first place Angels. Tim Hudson was 14-and-9 with an ERA of 3.52 with the Braves, while Mark Mulder was 16-and-8 with a 3.64 ERA with the Cardinals.
A season later Zito would lead the A's to a postseason birth, only to get swept by the Tigers in the ALCS. Zito left for the Giants and $126 Million following the 2006 season. Since the departure of Zito, the last remaining member of the "Big Three", the A's haven't had a winning record.
But everything hasn't been good for the trio either, though. Barry Zito hasn't had a winning record since leaving to the Giants, Hudson has been struggling to stay healthy, and Mark Mulder isn't even pitching now.
Join me as I take a look at the Big Three, then and now.