*Kirk Craig Saarloos’ was born on May 23, 1979, in Long Beach, California. He is a right-handed pitcher for the Oakland Athletics.High SchoolKirk graduated from Valley Christian High School in Cerritos, California, where he was a three-sport athlete: baseball, football and soccer. CollegeKirk attended California State University, Fullerton. A closer for his first two years, in his senior year in 2001, he became a starter.*Major Leagues’Kir was drafted by the Houston Astros in the in the third round (86th overall pick) of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft.
He made his way quickly through the Astros organization.
Major LeaguesKirk made his major league debut in 2002. He went 6-7 with a 6.01 ERA with Houston and was sent down to New Orleans for the next season.
In 2003 he again pitched well in the minors, but not so successfully when brought up to the majors.
A few weeks into the 2004 season, he was traded to the A’s for Chad Harville. He spent time at their AAA affiliate, Sacramento, then was called up and started 5 games for Oakland.
In 2005, Kirk became the fifth starter for the As, going 10-9 with a 4.17 ERA in 27 starts.
When veteran starter Esteban Loaiza was signed before the 2006 season, Kirk was put into the bullpen. When Rich Harden was injured he was used as the fifth starter for a few games.
On January 19, 2007, Kirk signed a one year $1.2 million deal with the Athletics. Then, on January 23, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for minor league reliever David Shafer.
On May 28, 2007, the Reds sent Kirk to the minors. On October 12, 2007 he was designated for assignment, which he refused, and became a free agent.
On January 15, 2008, Kirk signed a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training with the Oakland Athletics. On April 14, he was added to the major league roster, but was designated for assignment on April 23. He was sent outright to AAA on April 25. On August 18, he was recalled.