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.
UPDATE, 12:07 p.m. EDT: The Royals have confirmed reports of Yordano Ventura’s death with an official statement. No further details pertaining to the accident have been divulged.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.