By Jason Wojciechowski on December 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Here's a quick link roundup of all the Trevor Cahill analysis and thoughts that I've seen. I do the work so you don't have to!
BWH at Athletics Nation doesn't like the trade even though Jarrod Parker "could be better than Cahill as early as 2012," which is pretty amusing.
David Wishinsky has appropriately mixed feelings, noting that Trevor Cahill hasn't really been much better than an average starter so far with Oakland. I will quibble with the idea that Collin Cowgill represents a "clear upgrade" over Michael Taylor and Jermaine Mitchell. I'd prefer "probable upgrade."
Nico at Athletics Nation makes an interesting comparison, saying that Collin Cowgill could be the next Mark Kotsay. The core of the comparison is that Kotsay supposedly did not impress people with his tools, but I'm not sure I buy that -- the man was drafted ninth overall in the '96 draft and Baseball America rated him the 12th-best prospect in all of baseball before the 1998 season after he hit 300/400/500 while playing a presumably-strong center field. That's not, to me, the profile of an unimpressive athlete.
A scout told Joe Stiglich that it's a "leap of faith" to consider Collin Cowgill a full-time center-fielder. That's unfortunate.
Behind the paywall at Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Goldstein notes that the trade is about windows -- Trevor Cahill will be rather expensive by the time the A's are (hopefully?) in San Jose. He likes Jarrod Parker's upside and, perhaps most notably, thinks Collin Cowgill can handle center field. (R.J. Anderson writes about Trevor Cahill in more depth on the Arizona side of the trade ledger, and it's certainly worth reading.)
John Sickels says that Ryan Cook has a boss fastball (sometimes touching 100 mph) and could be good if he gets command, thinks Cowgill "has a good chance to have a long career as a fourth outfielder" (which both sounds right and sounds unfortunate), and reports that scouts think Jarrod Parker will be a #2.
Craig M. Williams asks "how do you rebuild when there was nothing to tear down in the first place?", which seems pretty far beyond silly to me, but hey.
David Schoenfield helpfully provides a list of every pitcher who was listed by Baseball America as a top-10 prospect from 2005 to 2009. There are good signs in there (David Price, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw), bad ones (Homer Bailey, Andrew Miller), and mixed (Neftali Feliz has only relieved so far; Brett Anderson has trouble staying healthy). Overall, it's a list that gives me heart, though David does poke a little hole in that heart by noting that Parker is more like a top-20 prospect than top-10.
Marc Hulet has Jarrod Parker as the second-best Arizona prospect, behind only Trevor Bauer, which likely (I'm saying this, not Marc) makes him the A's best prospect. He calls Cowgill a platoon outfielder, which might be code for fourth outfielder or might literally mean he can start against lefties, but I'm not sure. Overall, Hulet calls the move "questionable" by Oakland, though I would like to note that not a single dollar sign appears in his piece.
Adam J. Morris says that Collin Cowgill sounds like Eric Byrnes and notes his happiness that the Rangers won't have to face Cahill nearly as often as they used to -- Cahill has a 2.78 ERA in almost 100 innings against Texas.
Jeff Sullivan calls the trade "fair with error bars", which I think is exactly right. He's also the only analyst I've seen who mentioned that the A's are sending cash to Arizona in the deal. (I include myself in failing to mention that. Shame on me.)
Matthew Pouliot likes Trevor Cahill a lot and thus thinks the A's didn't get nearly enough for him. Pouliot's starting point, essentially, is that Cahill is going to be a #2 starter. I'm not nearly so sanguine on the guy, so you can understand why I like the package the A's got for him better than Pouliot does. (Also, for what it's worth, this is the package the A's actually got for Cahill and as such represents some approximation of the way he's valued in the market by however many GMs are looking to acquire starting pitcher (a.k.a. all of them).)
Drew Fairservice calls the package "tidy", though he speculates that perhaps the A's "cannibalized" the market for Gio Gonzalez in making this trade.