Yesterday the A’s swapped shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Nationals for reliever Tyler Clippard, and in doing so completed the ninth trade between general managers Billy Beane and Mike Rizzo since December of 2010.
Or, put another way: Oakland and Washington have made an average of one trade every five months for the past four years.
Some of them have been minor deals and they actually swapped catcher Kurt Suzuki back and forth twice, but in addition to this significant Escobar-Clippard trade they also had big ones involving Josh Willingham, Gio Gonzalez, and Derek Norris, plus a three-team trade with the Mariners that had Michael Morse and John Jaso in it.
Baseball-Reference.com has the full trading history between the two teams, because Baseball-Reference.com has everything always.
Beane is perceived as pretty new-school, Rizzo is perceived as pretty old-school, and they love making trades together.
Giants senior vice president and GM Brian Sabean said that he doesn’t plan for the Giants to engage in talks with free agent ace starter Max Scherzer, Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News reports.
Scherzer is clearly the top remaining pitcher of an unappetizing free agent class for starting pitching (beyond James Shields, of course). The 30-year-old, who took home 2013 AL Cy Young Award honors, led the league with 18 wins while posting a 3.15 ERA and a 252/63 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings.
The Giants have had a relatively quiet off-season after winning their third championship in five years. Their biggest moves have been signing reliever Sergio Romo to a two-year, $15 million deal, signing starter Jake Peavy to a two-year, $24 million deal, and trading for third baseman Casey McGehee. They have notably lost third baseman Pablo Sandoval and 1B/OF Michael Morse to free agency.
Update #2 (10:03 PM EST): Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel reports that the Marlins are receiving minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo from the Giants in exchange for McGehee.
Update (7:15 PM EST): Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY confirms that McGehee is indeed headed to San Francisco. It’s unclear at the moment exactly who the Marlins are receiving in return.
The Marlins added yet another infielder on Friday afternoon, acquiring Martin Prado along with David Phelps in a trade with the Yankees. Having also inserted Dee Gordon and Michael Morse into the mix, the Fish now have a surplus of infielders, including third baseman Casey McGehee.
The Giants, now without Pablo Sandoval and having missed out on Chase Headley, are in want of a passable major leaguer to man the hot corner. Rodriguez hears that the Giants and Marlins are closing in on a trade involving McGehee that would send minor league pitching to Miami.
McGehee, 32, hit .287/.355/.357 with four home runs and 76 RBI during the 2014 season. By traditional metrics, McGehee was among the more productive hitters during the first half of last season, carrying a .321 average and 53 RBI into the All-Star break. However, McGehee’s power — once responsible for a 23-homer output in 2010 — was nonexistent and fell well below the average for third basemen.
Then again, McGehee has a pulse and can navigate his way to third base, so that means he’s in play for the Giants.
Joe Frisaro has the scoop in his latest entry at MLB.com’s Fish Pond:
The Marlins have yet to officially announce the free agent signing of Michael Morse, but already the club has received calls from teams interested in Garrett Jones.
Morse’s arrival gives the Marlins some flexibility regarding Jones, who suddenly becomes available. Miami may decide to keep Jones, and use him as a left-handed bat off the bench, either at first base or in right field.
But most likely Jones will be dealt, and there are teams who have expressed interest, MLB.com has learned.
Jones, a left-handed hitter, boasts an .811 career OPS against right-handed pitching and he’s not all that far removed from his impressive .832 OPS, 27-homer 2012 campaign with the Pirates. The 33-year-old first baseman is due $5 million in 2015. He can then become a free agent.
With so many clubs seeking power this winter, Jones could fetch the Fish some legitimate talent.
Justin Bour can serve as the lefty complement to the right-handed Morse next season in Miami.
Confirmation here from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal …
Michael Morse will become Miami’s primary first baseman and he could hit cleanup most of the time behind $325 million slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Morse isn’t much of a defender, but he registered an impressive .811 OPS (130 OPS+) in 131 games this past season for the World Series-champion Giants. He earned down-ballot MVP votes in 2011 when he batted .303/.360/.550 with 31 homers and 95 RBI in 146 games for the Nationals.