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Brandon Workman will get a chance to show A’s what they almost could have had

07.12.13 at 7:11 pm ET
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At the trade deadline in 2011, the Red Sox and A’s consummated a deal that would have sent right-hander Rich Harden from Oakland to Boston in exchange for first baseman Lars Anderson and a player to be named. According to multiple major league sources at the time, he player to be named would come from a list that included Raul Alcantara (who eventually went to the A’s in the trade that brought Andrew Bailey to the East Coast) and Brandon Workman.

The A’s never got to make that choice in that Harden deal, as the exchange unraveled when the Red Sox reviewed Harden’s medicals. Instead, the Sox kept their prospects, with Workman emerging in the subsequent two years as one of the top pitching prospects in the team’s system.

Now, Workman will have the opportunity to pitch against the A’s. The team announced that the 24-year-old will make his first big league start on Sunday in Oakland against the team that was interested in acquiring him in 2011. Then, Workman was developing in his first full pro season in Single-A Greenville, pitching the entire year without the cutter that became such a standout pitch for him in college so that he could focus on developing his fastball command and, most importantly, refining his curveball as a reliable secondary weapon. Mission accomplished on both counts, which is why, starting in 2012, Workman started his methodical march through the Sox system to the big leagues and, now, finally to Oakland, where he will pitch as a visitor rather than for the home team.

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