The rumored deal between the A’s and Padres is reality, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribunereports 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.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.
[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.
None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, and supplied by Nike that, last I checked, were not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:
If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves, I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters do not impress the powers that be nearly as much.