The rumored deal between the A’s and Padres is reality, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Oakland has acquired outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks from San Diego for a pair of minor leaguers.
Blanks was once a top prospect and has always put up big numbers in the minors, but the 6-foot-6 slugger has struggled to stay healthy and his big-league production has been modest overall. However, he has 25-homer power with lots of plate discipline and could be a very nice fit in a part-time role with the platoon-friendly A’s.
Blanks has hit .295 with 33 homers and a .962 OPS in 141 games at Triple-A, so while he no longer projects as a potential star there’s still plenty of upside to be had at age 27 if he can just stay off the disabled list.
According to Lin the Padres will receive Triple-A outfielder Jake Goebbert and a player to be named later in exchange for Blanks. Goebbert was the Astros’ 13th-round pick in 2009 and came over to the A’s in the deal for Travis Blackley. He’s not much of a prospect at age 26, so unless the PTBNL proves substantial Blanks’ price tag was very reasonable.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.