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.
Or, at the very least, thank his bat.
Brett Anderson, who hit a meaty .085/.173/.106 last season, just got his first 2016 bat delivery, it seems. He posted a pic of the shiny lumber on Twitter a few minutes ago, with a message to his former teammate, the reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, whose “JD” initials signifying whose model number it is are plainly visible on the barrel:
If Anderson breaks out offensively this year — say, he pushes that OBP over .200 — I may reconsider my “DH in the National League now” argument and merely suggest that pitchers get better bats.
In other news, whose bat was Zack Greinke using last year? And did he leave any behind at Camelback Ranch? Might be worth looking.
Last week Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart revealed that he was interested in signing free agent reliever Tyler Clippard and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides have “made progress toward a deal.”
Piecoro notes that by trading Aaron Hill and his remaining contract to the Brewers the Diamondbacks created a bit of payroll flexibility that they could use to sign Clippard.
Clippard has a long history of excellent work as both a setup man and closer, but his raw stuff and secondary numbers have declined even though his ERA remained very good at 2.92 last season for the A’s and Mets. His strikeout rate dipped to a career-low 8.1 per nine innings, which is drop of about 25 percent from 2009-2014.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com just reported that Yulieski Gurriel & Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who are brothers, reportedly defected and will be seeking MLB deals. There aren’t any details yet, but Sanchez will be updating with a full story that we’ll link here when he has it. UPDATE: Here it is.
Yulieski is a 31-year old third baseman and, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler he was the No. 1 player remaining in Cuba. He was one of the Cuban players who was permitted to play in Japan recently, and he just put up a .305/.349/.536 season with 11 homers in 62 games for the Yokohama Bay Stars and has continued to rake in Cuba. He is likely major league ready right this instant. He’d be an unrestricted free agent given his age and team’s signing him would not be subject to international bonus pool limits.
Lourdes is only 22 years old. He’s hit .269/.355/.414 in 1036 Serie Nacional plate appearances and Badler thinks he has 20-homer potential in the majors one day. He’s currently a shortstop, but is probably destined for a corner. He is young enough to where he would be subject to bonus pool limits. Several teams have already exceeded those limits for the current signing period, limiting the number of teams who could sign him. If, however, it takes MLB a long time to clear him as a free agent — and with immigration issues and the like, that’s very possible — he may not be eligible to be signed until next year, which could bring some other teams into the fold.
Right-hander Craig Stammen, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Nationals, is expected to sign with the Indians.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians “hope to finalize a deal” with Stammen today, adding veteran depth to the bullpen. It’ll likely be a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Stammen missed nearly all of last season following elbow surgery and the Nationals non-tendered him, but he’s scheduled to be ready for spring training. After struggling as a starter early in his career he’s posted a 3.02 ERA in 280 innings out of the bullpen, so if healthy it’d be a nice addition for Cleveland.