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A couple of offseasons ago, we ran a series similar to what we're doing here, entitled "Minnesota Twins 40-Man Report Cards." The only key difference to be aware of is since it's happening now instead of during the offseason, we're going to make it forward-looking -- that is, with the current 40-man roster as constructed, looking back on their 2019 season.
So in some cases -- such as this one -- it'll be looking at players who might not have necessarily spent all or even any of their 2019 season in the organization.
Let's dive right in, starting with the pitchers:
- Player: Homer Bailey
- 2019 team(s): Kansas City Royals/Oakland Athletics
- Pertinent Numbers: 163.1 IP, 4.57 ERA/4.11 FIP, 2.9 fWAR/2.0 bWAR
When Bailey signed an extension with the Cincinnati Reds on Feb. 20, 2014, he was entering his age-28 season and coming off back-to-back seasons with a sub-4.00 ERA. That season, he posted a 3.71 ERA in 145.2 innings, and henceforth totaled 231.2 innings over the rest of the $105 million contract at an ERA of 6.25.
In a lot of ways, his career is semi-parallel to that of Anibal Sanchez. The Twins brought Sanchez into camp as a non-roster invitee in 2018 after a three-year run that saw him post a 5.67 ERA in 415.2 innings with the Detroit Tigers, but ultimately cut him loose upon signing Lance Lynn to a one-year deal.
All Sanchez has done in the two years since is post a 3.39 ERA in 302.2 innings with a 1.19 WHIP and well over two strikeouts per walk.
Anyway, there was ample reason to believe Bailey's career was over. He went 1-14 with the Reds in 2018, was traded as part of a salary dump deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers and was unceremoniously released the next day.
But rather than take his millions and fade into obscurity, Bailey agreed to a minor-league deal with the Royals and pitched his way onto the team, taking a regular rotation spot for 18 starts before he was traded to the A's on July 14 for prospect Kevin Merrell -- a utility infield prospect with a career OPS of .669, including a .617 mark last season.
To say even the A's weren't expecting a ton might be an understatement.