Dallas Braden hasn’t pitched in a major league game since April 16, 2011. And now his absence will stretch into the 2013 campaign.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Athletics manager Bob Melvin said this afternoon that Braden will undergo a second surgery on his left shoulder.
Braden has been sidelined all season following surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule muscle in his left shoulder last May. The 29-year-old left-hander was still hoping to return in September as of a month ago, but his shoulder simply hasn’t responded as hoped. Melvin said that he’s set for “exploratory” surgery, so the extent of the damage isn’t yet known.
Braden owns a 4.16 ERA over parts of five seasons in the majors. He had a 3.50 ERA over 30 starts with the Athletics in 2010, a season highlighted by his perfect game against the Rays on Mother’s Day.
Braden is under team control through 2013, but it’s worth noting that he earned $3.35 million this season in arbitration. Given his shoulder issues, it could be a tough call to tender him a contract this winter.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.