Josh Donaldson. Getty Images.

A’s trade Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays

Well, this really shouldn’t be a surprise to all the people I can imagine are out there feeling surprised or shocked right now.

So a few weeks ago Billy Beane said that Josh Donaldson was not available? This is Oakland. Since when has thinking a player is safe from being traded meant anything in the past twenty years? Oh yeah it doesn’t.

Josh Donaldson for four players is a pretty “overwhelming” offer as Beane put it. He maintains that the Blue Jays threw so much young talent at him that he couldn’t resist making the deal but that the plan had been, up until that point, that Donaldson was staying put.

Personally I’m ok with it. I see where they are going with it. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle quoted right fielder (who I’d have rather they had traded) Josh Reddick as saying,

I don’t know how true that is. I does appear to be a rebuilding of sorts but I’ve seen bigger overhauls in the past. It also seems that they could remain fairly competitive.

Maybe they won’t make the playoffs in the ultra-competitive American League West but they’ll still finish with a winning record with guys like Jeff Samardzija, Sonny Gray, Brandon Moss, etc. on the team.

Plus, they’ll now have another group of strong young players to work with. Let’s look at the four new Oakland Athletics:

Brett Lawrie. Getty Images.

Brett Lawrie. Getty Images.

1. Brett Lawrie, who is just 24 years old, plays good defensive and is a career .265 hitter, will be taking over at third for Donaldson. He might not produce the same way as Donaldson but he is still young.

2. The A’s had already been eyeing pitcher Sean Nolin. I read that some time ago and know a little bit about the left-handed starter. Nolin who is also just 24, has just one Major League start and one relief appearance under his belt, but is still said to be big league ready.

3. 23-year-old right-handed reliever Kendall Graveman made five appearances for the Blue Jays last season. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing five hits, two runs and posting a 3.86 ERA. It’s not perfection but he is definitely someone who has potential and is also considered big league ready.

4. The fourth player that helped seal the deal is 18-year-old shortstop Frank Barreto. He’s already played in two teams in the rookie leagues at in 2013 and spent last season in the Class A Short-Season Northwest League.

His numbers at such a young age are impressive. He’s batted .296/.366/.482 in his short career. He’s hit a total of 10 home runs, 11 triples and driven in 87 runs in just 132 professional games. So far, I like him. It just might be a couple years until we see him in an Athletics uniform.

Yes, the A’s lose an All-Star and two-time MVP candidate in Donaldson. Yes he led the team in home runs (29) in 2014 and drove in 98 runs but he only batted .268 at the end of the day. 

Sean Nolin. Getty Images.

Sean Nolin. Getty Images.

Donaldson’s presence will certainly be missed but if you think about – at least when I have – I was surprised he was even in the running for a Gold Glove after some of the errors he was making in 2014. He made 23 in 2014 compared to 16 in 2013.

I’m not saying I’m glad to see him go. I’m not. I’m not saying he isn’t a great player, He is. What I’m saying is I can see what Beane is trying to do. 

He’s doing the same thing he always does. Last season’s trades were an anomoly, Beane always trades more expensive players for a group of talented but younger (and cheaper!) options.

Sure it’s a huge surprise. And I am sure people will blame whatever happens in 2015 on this move, just like they did with the Yoenis Cespedes/Jon Lester trade.

This time, having seen and known that they were wrong about that trade, I believe the naysayers will be wrong about this one as well. The benefits may not out weigh the loss of Donaldson in 2015 but they will in the future.

Beane is doing his thing. He is doing what he can with what he has to ensure the future of the Athetics. If trading Josh Donaldson to Toronto for four guys who will be cheaper and likely collectively better once they get some experience, is what needs to be done then I am on board. 

In Billy I know I, certainly, trust. He’s taken the Athletics to the playoffs eight times this century which is A LOT more than most teams can dream of. So think about it a little bit before you get upset. In Billy we all should trust.

Jason Frasor.  Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images.

Royals making their own deals on “Black Friday”

Kansas City signs reliever, makes trade with Miami

The Kansas City Royals have been making deals on a day known for a different kind of deals. “Black Friday” is one of if not the biggest retail sales day of the year.

The Royals have had their own “Black Friday” so far this year. The team re-signed reliever Jason Frasor on Friday.

Frasor, 37, was acquired by the Royals in a trade on July 16, The self-described “one inning pitcher” worked out well for the Royals in middle relief both during the season and the postseason.

Frasor went 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 17 2/3 innings for the Royals in 2014. He allowed just three runs, 13 hits, four walks and struck out 16 batters.

Frasor’s contract is for one-year with a mutual option for 2016. In 2015 he will make $1.25 million with $500,000 in performance bonuses.

The option for 2016 is worth $2 million with up another $500,000 in bonuses based on performance. The team will have a $550,000 buyout option if necessary.

If both sides pick up the option Frasor will be guaranteed at least $1.8 million.

Kansas City made a deal with the Miami Marlins early Friday. Miami parted with a pair of pitching prospects in order to bolster their bullpen for next season.

The Royals gave up pitcher Aaron Crow. Crow was picked 12th overall in the 2009 Draft by the Royals. He pitched alongside Frasor in the Royals’ bullpen, one of the league’s best, last season. Although partially because of Frasor’s success, Crow was left off of the Royal’s postseason roster.

Crow will join fellow right-handers A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, Chris Hatcher, Carter Capps and Sam Dyson in the Marlins’ bullpen with Steve Cishek as the closer.

Crow was 6-1 last season with Kansas City and posted a 4.12 ERA. His career ERA is 3.43. He also made an All-Star appearance as a rookie in 2011.

The Royals recieved two pitching prospects from Miami in Brian Flynn and Reid Redman. Flynn, 24, made two appearances for the Marlins last season and 8-10 with a 4.06 ERA in 25 starts at Triple-A New Orleans.

Redman who is 26-years old went 5-1 with a 2.04 ERA for Class A Advanced Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville in 2014.

Yasmany Tomas. Getty Images.

UPDATE: MLB Thanksgiving recap: Yasmany Tomas & more …

UPDATE: November 28, 2014 11:00 am PT

According to CBS Sports‘ Chicago Cubs Pitcher Pedro Strop who was involved in a serious car accident in the Dominican Republic on Thursday, has luckily escaped the crash with a minor injury, a cut on his left arm. It required stitches but Strop is obviously very lucky.

The right-hander, 29 had a 2.21 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and a 10.5 K/9 in 61 innings in 2014. Originally with the Baltimore Orioles he was traded to the Cubs in 2012.

Original Text: November 28, 2014

News on Yasmany Tomas, Yoenis Cespedes and Pedro Strop

Yasmany Tomas

Well, this isn’t exactly breaking news anymore but it happened Wednesday evening and with Thanksgiving yesterday – well, I didn’t get to write about it and I’m sure there are still a few people in the dark on this story.

Coveted Cuban free agent Yasmany Tomas defected from Cuba last summer and worked hard to stay in shape for four months, until the rules allowed him to begin working out on a baseball field.

According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, he held a showcase less than a month later for all 30 MLB teams. Since then he’s held private workouts for Braves, D-backs, Dodgers, Mariners, Giants, Padres, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox and Royals.

Even still, the young defector had been linked to virtually every team in one way or another but as of a November 20th, Jon Heyman had reported that the fight for Tomas was down to four teams. Those were San Francisco Giants, the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Just two days, later on November 22 Bleacher Report wrote that the front runners for the Cuban slugger were the Braves and the Padres. However, on Wednesday evening, Sanchez was the first to report a major surprise. Yasmany Tomas had signed a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

As you can see the outfielder, who turned 24 just last week, will be making $68.5 million over six years. Tomas does, however, have an opt-out clause after four years. Tomas is a great match for the D-Backs whose outfield wasn’t so hot in 2013.

Mark Trumbo, who was brought over from the Los Angeles Angels prior to last season was in right and David Peralta in left. Two similar defensively challenged players with low on-base percentages. The only difference was that Trumbo has more power potential as Peralta.

In center the Diamondbacks’ had A.J. Pollock, who while a great defender, has just an ok bat. Tomas is an obvious up-grade for the D-Backs in either corner outfield position and will free the Diamondbacks up to possibly use some of their extra outfielders and bench players as trade chips.

Tomas has never played in a 162 game season which is taking a risk on the Diamondbacks side a bit. It may explain part of why he’ll only be making $11 million a year which is slightly below the league average.If he were playing on a team like the Oakland A’s though, he’d be their highest paid player.

Tomas played five seasons in Cuba with the Havana Industriales in the Serie Nacional in Cuba beginning in 2008 but he didn’t play everyday. In 2013 he played in 69 out of the 90-game in Cuba’s 90-game season. He missed the 2010-2011 season altogether and part of 2014.

Still in 205 total plate appearances, Tomas hit 30 home runs with 014 RBI. It will be interesting to see how he does in such a much longer season.

He’s supposedly in great shape though so if he doesn’t tire too much throughout the course of MLB’s 162 games he should put up some seriously good numbers. And be a huge help to the Diamondbacks as they try to get back on track after a disasterous 2014 season.

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes. Getty Images.

Yoenis Cespedes. Getty Images.

I had to make a note of this incident that happened on Wednesday night. There were rumors circulating widely on Twitter that Yoenis Cespedes had been traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Cincinnati Reds. Started by a highschool “reporter” by the name of Jake Wesley who goes by the Twitter handle @mlb_nl_al, the rumor spread quickly around the Twitter and some other social media sites.

The rumor was as we all now know untrue. Cespedes has NOT been traded to the Reds. However, this isn’t an impossible trade but it has NOT happened.

Since a 13-year-old and an 18-year-old broke the news of Billy Butler‘s deal with Oakland, it appears now that any kid with a computer believes that they too can break important MLB news. (Other teens have been right in the past including SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo who was 18 at the time of his first big break but it doesn’t mean believe everything you read)

Of course, this is not the case. Wesley retracted his statement, much too late for everyone who’s a baseball fanatic to not have already heard and questioned it. Wesley maintains that he still has sources everywhere in baseball and it was only his Cincinnati source that proved to be unreliable. I’m not sure that I believe this so read at your own risk!

However, be wary of what you read on Twitter. Just because teenagers broke one story doesn’t mean that they all have sources and will all be correct.

Now, if you hear a of a trade from someone with a verified account and a reliable track record such as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal or CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, do take that to be a trade that is on the horizon.

Pedro Strop

Pedro Strop. Brian Kersey/Getty Images.

Pedro Strop. Brian Kersey/Getty Images.

Chiacgo Cubs’ pitcher Pedro Strop was involved in a car crash in the Dominican Republic Thursday morning (I believe). This information was extremely alarming to everyone as these incidents of crashes in the Domican Republic have been making news in the U.S. frequently over the last two months.

Last month the St. Louis Cardinals’ Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were both killed in a serious car accident there. Also, just earlier this week Texas’ Rangers’ prospect Ronald Guzman was involved in an accident in which his car collided with a motorcycle whose rider was killed. 

Although Guzman was sober (Taveras was not) and the accident is said to be the fault of the motorcyclist, he is still being held in jail until a judge can clear him.

Thankfully, it has been reported that Strop and those involved in the accident are all alive. Beyond that not many details are known but at least these accidents are getting people to take notice of danger and unsafe conditions that can be found on the roads in the Domican Republican.    

Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving – Tomas, Cespedes and more ….

But it will have to be later tonight …. I am watching my …

DALLAS COWBOYS!

Dallas Cowboys!

Dallas Cowboys!

Sorry about that! It’s my fave day to focus on FOOTBALL!!! Wooohooo! Go Cowboys! I will be back later with some news on Yasmany Tomas, Yoenis Cespedes and much more! Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day and HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS?! :-D I Love Troy Aikman!! (in case you didn’t already know! LOL! :-)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!!

xoxo ~ Jen

 

5 MLB teams that may be in the postseason mix in 2015

*If you have reached this page from the home page (bbstmlb.com) please click on the title of the article to see the slideshow*
**I wrote this in early September – if I could choose now, I think that I would put the New York Mets as opposed to the Tampa Bay Rays given all the changes with the Rays and the Mets’ pitching with Matt Harvey back in 2015 – unless Raul Ibanez gets to manage the Rays, I’d bet on them then! :-) **
Chicago Cubs. David Banks/Getty Images.

Chicago Cubs. David Banks/Getty Images.

There are quite a few teams that are not even close to a postseason berth right now, however, there some of those teams may be in the mix next for a trip to the playoffs in 2015.

Some teams, especially the Texas Rangers, have been completely and utterly decimated by injury.

While teams like the Chicago Cubs have an immense amount of young, up and coming talent that is on display right now and will have much needed experience under their belts when the 2015 season rolls around.

Whereas other teams such as the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays. While they have had their fair share of injuries, neither team just did not perform to their expected potential in 2014 but they still have the opportunity to turn it around next season.

r-HOUSTON-ASTROS-AL-large570

Getty Images

Then there are the Houston Astros who are in a class by themselves. They’re terrible yet they have talent. Jose Altuve has the best batting average in the league and Chris Carter is rivaling the Baltimore Orioles’ Nelson Cruz for the American League home run crown. 

Jon Lester. Lance Iverson/USATODAY Sports.

Cubs, Red Sox, Giants all in aggressive pursuit of Jon Lester

While a large number of clubs have been said to be interested in lefty ace Jon Lester, both the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox upped the stakes Tuesday, but so did the San Francisco Giants.

Jon Lester. Getty Images.

Jon Lester. Getty Images.

After losing out on free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox over the weekend, the Giants have money to spare. Reportedly they already have a meeting with Lester next week.

The fight for Jon Lester, a very, very good left-handed pitcher and a free agent, has been harried and MLB has yet to even reach this year’s annual winter meetings. The meetings used to be the place where all the wheeling and dealing is done but it seems that more and more, teams are looking at the meetings as a deadline.

Of course it isn’t just the Cubs, Red Sox and Giants who have been linked to the southpaw. Many more teams want to procure Lester’s services. Among them the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers and of course, there’s been speculation that the New York Yankees will change their mind about not signing free agents this year and at the last minute throw more money at Lester than anyone else can.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Lester, a two-time All-Star with an almost perfect postseason record, has never won a Cy Young. Lester was supposed to get attention yes, but not nearly as much as Max Scherzer.

Max Scherzer. Ben Margot/AP.

Max Scherzer. Ben Margot/AP.

Scherzer, most recently the ace of the Detroit Tigers staff, who won 21 games in 2013 does have a Cy Young Award. He was great in 2014 too, finished the season having pitched 220.1 innings, making 33 starts, winning 18 of them while losing just five. His ERA? A tidy 3.15.

Scherzer was rated the number one free agent in the league going into the offseason by many, including ESPN. While Scherzer may still command more money than Jon Lester in the end, no one thought that the stakes or the competition would be this high.

The Red Sox, who met with Lester last week and most recently just signed Sandoval and shortstop Hanley Ramirez to deals that together equal almost $200 million, have stated publicly that they are willing to exceed their payroll and absorb a luxury tax in order to retain Lester.

The organization attempted to make a deal with him prior to the 2014 season, but it was only a four-year deal while the 31-year-old is seeking something more along the lines of six years.

Lester rejected it and was traded to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes at the July 31st trade deadline. Its been said that he has maintained a good relationship with the club and Lester has expressed the sentiment of wanting to return to Boston where he spent eight seasons before landing in California.

The Cubs reportedly put an offer on the table when they too met with Lester last week. Although the club has yet to confirm it, CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan had this to say on his Tuesday morning radio show,

“What I’m hearing is the Chicago Cubs have made a significant offer – significant north of $135 million.”

The Atlanta Braves have been after Lester as well. He’s had meetings with the Braves but there has not been a reported offer or number leaked to the public.

Back in September, Lester told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman,

“I am not about signing the biggest deal. For me it is about the happiness of my family.”

Lester’s family resides outside of Atlanta, mere minutes away from the stadium. They’re also very used to Boston having spent so much time there. The statement by Lester seems to give both Atlanta and Boston an advantage over other clubs.

Jon Lester. Getty Images.

Jon Lester. Getty Images.

However, Lester also has a good relationship with former Boston GM and current Cubs’ GM Theo Epstein. The new look of the guys from Chicago’s North Side could be appealing. The Cubs have built their current ballclub from the ground up and many are predicting that within a couple years they might finally break the “Curse of the Billy Goat” by returning to and winning a World Series.

Now, the 2014 World Champion Giants are in the running. Lester would not be the ace of their staff as that distinction unequivocally goes to World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, however, playing for a team fresh off its third title in five years certainly has some appeal and if the money is right Lester could end up there.

The situation is much more complicated than originally expected and most of the teams linked to the lefty have legitimate reasons to believe that Lester will come and play for their club.

It’s all speculation right now though. In the end the only one who can tell us where Lester will end up is Jon Lester.

Stay with BBST for future updates on this story.

Getty Images

San Francisco Giants’ post-Panda shopping list not short

The San Francisco Giants lost one of their most popular players officially on Tuesday when the Boston Red Sox introduced Pablo Sandoval as the newest member of their ballclub.

Pablo Sandoval. Getty Images.

Pablo Sandoval. Getty Images.

There are many rumors as to why the Giants, who reportedly put forward the same bid as the Boston, lost the Panda sweepstakes ranging from Sandoval feeling disrespected in some way by San Francisco, according to HardBallTalk to Sandoval wanting to explore the designated hitter position and everything inbetween.

We may never know. The Giants may know and will never say or maybe they’ll always be baffled as well. Yet, while the fans may not have moved on yet but the Giants organization certainly have.

They offered Panda around $100 million which gives them that much more to spend now.

They’ve been heavily linked to the Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas for awhile now. However, within the last 48 hours they’ve been linked to some big name and very expensive free agents, namely Max Scherzer and Jon Lester.

While Lester has had a plethora of suitors the Giants are only the second team to be connected to Max Scherzer.

The Giants have reached out to players that could fill some of the pieces that went with Panda to Boston. Sandoval, a career .294 hitter, leaves open more than just the hot corner.

Justin Upton. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Justin Upton. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman they’ve already reached out to Atlanta Braves regarding a possible trade for outfielder Justin Upton. The team has already been initiating talks with FA outfielders like Nelson Cruz, Jay Brucem Tomas, Nick Markakis and Torii Hunter.

Thirdbaseman are hard to come by this year besides Sandoval but they’ve even reached out to Chase Headley who the New York Yankees have been hoping to re-sign for the 2015 season.

They’ve cast their net so far as to begin looking at second level pitchers like Justin Masterson, Jake Peavy and reliever Sergio Romo.

The Giants are not done yet and as we have seen in the past they have pulled off some surprising blockbusters such as signing Barry Zito to a seven-year, $126 million contract in 2006.

We will have to wait and see but it appears that San Francisco is going for it after losing their beloved Panda.

Randy Johnson & Pedro Martinez. Getty Images.

5 MLB stories from Monday that did not involve the Red Sox

*If you reach this post from the blog’s homepage bbstmlb.com, you will need to click on the title of the article in order to see the slideshow.*

Is it just me or did a lot happen in the world of Major League Baseball yesterday, for a Monday morning especially? Couldn’t have Hanley Ramirez waited to fly out to Boston so we could just absorb the Pablo Sandoval news over a cup of coffee before work?

Of course not. That would be too easy. Instead both deals went down, which led to speculation and some obscenely bad rumors on Twitter (Trading Yoenis Cespedes for Chris Sale? Um, yeah. I seriously read that online).

So I’m going to attempt to sum up some of Monday’s stories that you may have already heard and a few that might have flown under the radar since the White Sox are suddenly (to be clear they are NOT) shopping Chris Sale and Jon Lester is already (remember these are rumors he is NOT) a member of the Boston Red Sox.

Pablo Sandoval. Getty Images.

Panda chooses Red Sox, so does Hanley Ramirez

As the Red Sox sign two big name free agents their team gets a bit overcrowded. What moves are likely now for Boston?

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Hanley Ramirez. Getty Images.

The Boston Red Sox surprised no one when they went after free agent Pablo Sandoval. The question then was would Sandoval choose to leave the San Francisco Giants (or go with the late to the game player San Diego Padres) for Boston. Today we have that answer.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman has reported that Sandoval and the Red Sox have finalized a five-year deal worth somewhere close to the vicinity of $100 million.

Sandoval was hoping for a six-year deal so it wouldn’t be surprising if the deal includes vesting options for 2020 or later.

Clearly neither the Giants nor the Padres (who reportedly offered more money than the Red Sox) did not offer what Panda was looking for.

The story got even more interesting Sunday night, as everyone already knew that Sandoval was leaning towards being Boston’s new third baseman, when the story broke that free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez was also close to signing a similar deal with the Red Sox.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that sources said the Ramirez deal was basically done and that the infielder would be flying to Boston Monday morning to sign the contract.

Hanley Ramirez’s contract is supposed to also be for five-years and around $90 million. Hanley began his career in Boston before being traded to the Marlins in 2005 and still has a close relationship with David Ortiz

Back in 2011, Big Papi had this to say about the then Miami shortstop,

“Hanley is like a little brother to me.”

So it makes sense that Ramirez would want to go back to the organization he orginally came up with. What is hard to make sense of is what the Red Sox are planning to do with both Sandoval and Ramirez. 

They need a third baseman but they have the young, talented Xander Bogaerts who plays at short.

Technically, Ramirez could play in left field, a position he has only ever played in winter ball. Yet, if that were the case it would leave the team with oh, about a million outfielders.

They would have Yoenis Cespedes surrounding whom there has been talk of being a possible trade chip for Boston.

Still, the Red Sox would still have Allen Craig, Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Mookie BettsDaniel Nava and Brock Holt. Add Ramirez to that already crowded list and you still have six players and only two open spots.

Ok, what now? Well, with all the extra outfielders, and perhaps an extra shortstop in Bogaerts, the team could trade to get some much needed starting pitching.

The best available via trade? Easily the Philadelphia Phillies’ left-hander Cole Hamels. The Phillies are seeking young talent whether in the form of prospects or even a young talent ready for the big leagues right now.

Of course the Red Sox have also been linked to free agent left-handed starter and former member of the Red Sox, Jon Lester

David  Ortiz. Will Mcnamee / Getty Images

David Ortiz. Will Mcnamee / Getty Images

Another scenario could be that the Red Sox are looking to Sandoval or Ramirez to eventually replace Big Papi,who just turned 39 and is signed through 2015 with team options for 2016-17, at the designated hitter position.

Even if this is their eventual plan the Red Sox would still need to unload some players because Big Papi won’t be going anywhere for a long minute. He hit 35 home runs and drove in 104 in 2014.

His skills are not declining and he’s a Boston icon (despite spending the first six of his 18 seasons with the Minnesota Twins), it is unlikely that he’ll leave baseball without it being on his terms.

It’s possible they could do it all. They’ve got Sandoval and should have Ramirez by the end of the day, trade for Hamels and sign Lester.

Even if all of that occurs they’d still be laden with some extra players who’d have to be sent down or designated for assignment but those things happen.

The Red Sox have already pretty much won the offseason and we might see what happened in 2013 happen again.

The Red Sox went from last to first and back to last in the past three seasons. Is another World Series on the horizon for Boston?

I don’t know. What I do know is that I REALLY wish that they would make a trade with the Oakland A’s. We’ll take Xander Bogaerts off your hands, no problem – I know, I know, I’m totally reaching but it would be nice wouldn’t it?! :-) 

Ike Davis. Chris Trotman/Getty Images.

Update: A’s acquire Ike Davis, now getting calls on lefty hitters

Update: November 24, 2014

Since acquiring left-handed hitter and first baseman Ike Davis from the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday afternoon, the Oakland Athletics have already been begun getting inquiries about some of their left handed batters. 

According to A’s beat writer Susan Slusser the Toronto Blue Jays have expressed interest in catcher John Jaso. Jaso missed the end of each of the last two seasons suffering the after-effects of concussions.

Now healthy, the Blue Jays are looking at Jaso to be the back-up to newly signed catcher Russell Martin. The Blue Jays already have already have Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole who can both be used as back-ups for Martin. Although Navarro is looking to be traded and teams have already expressed interest.

What would the A’s get in return if they were to trade Jaso to the Blue Jays? The A’s have expressed interest in left-handed starter Sean Nolin.

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Nolin, who will be 25 next month, has been in the Blue Jays farm system for the better parts of past five seasons, making two big league appearances in 2013-14.

Overall in his minor league career he’s gone 27-17 with 3.06 ERA in 86 starts and four relief appearances.

The A’s also have lefty hitters in Gold Glove right fielder Josh Reddick and first baseman Brandon Moss, who has had three consecutive seasons with 20 or more home runs.

Reddick is the liklier trade candidate given that the A’s seem to always have a need for offense. Moss hit 25 home runs in 2014 but should have surpassed 30. He was hindered by a hip injury that has now been fixed via offseason surgery.

Either could be used in a significant trade to fill the A’s biggest need which will be at shortstop once Jed Lowrie likely departs via free agency. There are not very many shortstops on the free agent market and a trade would likely be the A’s best option.

Original Text: November 23, 2014

Ok, so the Oakland A’s acquired first baseman Ike Davis from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. Fortunately, they got him for very little. Davis had recently been designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The A’s traded international bonus slot 27 for Davis and international bonus slot 86 from the Pirates. 

That’s actually not a bad deal considering Davis had a stellar year in just 2012 where he hit 32 home runs and drove in 90 runs. 

Since then, however, he has hit just 20 home runs and 84 RBI in two seasons with the New York Mets and then Pittsburgh. He has potential but hasn’t shown it in awhile.

And really, how many first baseman does Oakland need? They have Brandon Moss, Billy Butler, Stephen Vogt, Nate Freiman, Kyle Blanks and Davis who all can play at first. Um …. 

However, as the San Francisco Chronicles’ Susan Slusser points out, we shouldn’t read too much into the trade. It gives the A’s flexibility going into the winter meetings which are scheduled to take place December 8-11 in San Diego. 

Josh  Reddick. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images.

Josh Reddick. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images.

Adding Davis for cheap allows the A’s the opportunity to explore more deals. They could barter with any of their first baseman or as Slusser suggests even right fielder Josh Reddick, as Moss could move into the outfield or even Vogt who played some games in right field  last season.

Although I don’t see the A’s trading Vogt. He’s flexible at where he can play (catcher, first, outfield) and he’s known for some pretty clutch hitting (“I Believe In Stephen Vogt” is a popular chant at O.Co Coliseum).

Regardless of what deals go down in two weeks, adding Davis gives the A’s depth as well as another possible trade chip. 

At first it was shocking to hear that the A’s had acquired Davis, however, when thought through it’s actually a great move by GM Billy Beane. It appears he is planning to be quite active at the winter meetings.