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.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.