Here's a Thought: Oakland Athletics Organization Signs Two Players

Nathaniel StoltzSenior Analyst IAugust 6, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 26:  Brett Tomko #28 of the New York Yankees pitches against the New York Mets on June 26, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Mets 9-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

If you haven't heard, the A's have added right-handed pitcher Brett Tomko to the roster of AAA Sacramento. They have also added first baseman Kala Ka'aihue to the roster of High-A Stockton.

Tomko, 36, was released by the Yankees on July 29. He was terrible for New York this season, posting a 6.17 FIP in 20 2/3 innings.

From 2006-2008, he had three passable, nondescript seasons between the Dodgers, Padres, and Royals organizations.

He has posted a FIP below 4.00 just once in his 13-year career (3.97 in 1998 with Cincinnati).

I can't say I'm a fan of this move. It's fine to bring outside guys into the organization, as Double-A pitcher Kyle Middleton (signed out of the independent leagues earlier this season) proves, but Tomko has never really been a difference-making pitcher, and he has no place on the major league A's, no matter what his Triple-A success is.

If Oakland is to bring someone in from outside the organization, I'd much rather it be a younger player with more potential upside and use to the major league team.

The A's have found some good arms from indie ball in the past two years (Middleton, Mike Benacka, and Jon Hunton, who are all excelling in Double-A), so why not just go that route again?

Ka'aihue is a 24-year-old ex-Braves prospect who hit a miserable .157/.306/.262 in Double-A this year before being released by Atlanta.

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The brother of Royals Triple-A slugger Kila Ka'aihue, Kala mashed 22 homers in High-A in 2007 despite playing half his games in Myrtle Beach, the most notorious pitcher's park in the minor leagues.

Last year, he only hit 14 homers in Double-A, but walked 88 times, posting a sparkling .417 OBP.

Ka'aihue has shown he has a ton of power and a ton of patience, but, for whatever reason, things obviously completely fell apart for the Hawaiian first baseman this season.

I love this pickup for Oakland. If Ka'aihue can rediscover his potential, he could give the A's a big lineup presence down the line. He's also an excellent defensive first baseman.

At 24, he still has time to turn his career around.

And hey, if he doesn't, all it cost Oakland was a minor league contract and High-A roster spot.

So I really like the Ka'aihue pickup but dislike the addition of Tomko. It will be interesting to see what these two players do with their new organization.