Right-hander Homer Bailey has been dealt to the Athletics, the team announced Sunday. Since Bailey is currently receiving the league minimum from the Royals, ESPN’s Jeff Passan notes, the Athletics will owe him no more than $250,000 for the remainder of the 2019 season. Kansas City is expected to receive top infield prospect Kevin Merrell in return.
The 33-year-old Bailey inked a minors deal with the Royals in advance of spring training. Since then, he’s put up a 7-6 record in 18 starts with a 4.80 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 through 90 innings. While he isn’t the 3.00-ERA, 3.0+ fWAR, no-hitter hurler he was for the Reds in years past, he may yet improve his performance with the A’s as they vie for a wild card spot this summer. He was originally slated to start Sunday’s game against the Tigers, but was replaced by southpaw Brian Flynn prior to news of the trade.
Merrell, 23, was selected by the A’s in the first round of the 2017 amateur draft. The shortstop/second baseman made the jump to Double-A Midland in 2019 and slashed .246/.292/.339 with 19 extra bases, 13 stolen bases (in 17 chances), and a .631 OPS through 318 plate appearances. Per MLB Pipeline, he ranked 17th-best among the club’s prospects in 2019.