Last week the A’s traded Conor Jackson to the Red Sox for Triple-A reliever Jason Rice and now five days later they lost Rice on waivers to the Indians for nothing.
He’s hardly an impact prospect, but it still seems odd to trade for someone and then immediately waive them. Obviously the A’s were hoping Rice would clear waivers, which would have allowed them to keep him in the organization while removing him from the 40-man roster, but the Indians ruined those plans.
Rice threw 85 innings with a 3.69 ERA and 89 strikeouts at Pawtucket, but the former 11th-round pick also walked 42 batters. All of which is a long way of saying that the A’s basically just gave Conor Jackson to the Red Sox for nothing. And considering his .634 OPS during the past three seasons that seems like the right price.
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.
It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.
Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.
Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.