A major trade on November 10? Good stuff.
According to the A’s official Twitter feed, Oakland has acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Royals in exchange for right-hander Vin Mazzaro and minor league left-hander Justin Marks.
DeJesus has been involved in trade rumors for a couple of seasons now and the Royals, aiming to form a younger big-league roster, finally pulled the trigger Wednesday.
The 30-year-old DeJesus turned in a solid .318/.384/.443 batting line, 23 doubles and five home runs over 352 at-bats for Kansas City this year while also playing solid outfield defense. He should provide a noticeable improvement to Oakland’s batting order, which wasn’t very productive in 2010.
Mazzaro posted a pedestrian 4.27 ERA and 1.45 WHIP this year, striking out only 79 batters in 122-plus innings, but the 24-year-old sinkerballer projects as a fine No. 3 starter and will be of help to the Royals once they’re ready to compete a few years from now. Marks, 22, registered 136 strikeouts over 129.1 minor-league frames in 2010 and also has a promising future as a big-league lefty.
The A’s could afford to dump some of their pitching surplus because they won the rights to Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma this fall and clearly expect to work out a deal.
Kansas City boasts one of baseball’s most talented farm systems and should be in the mix for the American League Central crown by 2014 assuming all goes right with their long list of prospects. Mazzaro fits that long-term plan for success. DeJesus, solely because of his age, did not.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.