Oakland Athletics: The Athletics’ All-Time 25-Man Roster

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Reliever #1: Huston Street

Right-hander Huston Street barely had time to get his feet wet at the minor league level before becoming a major league closer. He was the Athletics’ first round pick in the 2004 draft – chosen 40th overall – and debuted in May of 2005. After an injury to Octavio Dotel, Street became the go-to closer without any big league experience. He excelled, and as a result, he took home the 2005 American League Rookie of the Year award.

Although he currently pitches for the Los Angeles Angels, Street’s years with the Athletics some of the best of his career. In four seasons, he averaged a 2.88 ERA and struck out 271 batters in just 269 innings. He also picked up 94 saves during that time, despite the fact that he wasn’t even 25 years old during his time with the A’s.

In the winter leading up to the 2009 season, the Athletics made a painfully bad deal with the Colorado Rockies that sent Street, pitcher Greg Smith, and future-superstar Carlos Gonzalez to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Matt Holliday. Holliday was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals by mid-season, making it potentially a top-ten worst trade ever.

Street went on to post a 3.50 ERA with 84 saves over three years in Colorado (no small feat, given the Rockies’ hitter-friendly environment), and a 2.03 ERA with 80 saves over 131 games with the Padres. Although he struggled a bit last season – if you can really call a 3.18 ERA with 40 saves and 57 strikeouts in 62.1 innings struggling – Street is still an outstanding closer.

Runner-Up: Paul Lindblad

When Paul Lindblad retired, he had recorded the seventh-most appearances of any left-handed pitcher in the history of the game, but he’s probably best known for his combined no-hitter against the Angels on September 28, 1975. Together with Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott and Rollie Fingers, the A’s managed to clinch a no-hit victory on the final day of the season. Lindblad’s career 3.29 ERA and 671 strikeouts are impressive totals as well. Altogether, he spent eleven seasons with Oakland, but he also spent time with Texas and New York. Lindbland retired as a Yankee in 1978.

Next: The Bullpen: Middle Reliever #2