How ’bout them A’s? Just days after placing the winning bid on Japanese pitcher Hishashi Iwakuma, and adding David DeJesus, the A’s made yet another move in what figures to be a busy offseason. On Friday, the A’s announced that they claimed 3B Edwin Encarnacion off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.
As A’s writer, Jane Lee seems to point out in her post about the Encarnacion pick-up, the A’s current 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff may find himself in an awkward position. Kouzmanoff, 29, came to Oakland last offseason in a trade with the Padres, and while he provided solid defense, Kouzmanoff never really found a comfort-zone at the plate. Kouzmanoff did lead the A’s in homers (16 HR) and in RBIs (71), but hit just .247/.283/.396. Kouzmanoff’s numbers fell from 2009’s .255/.302/.420 line, and that is not an encouraging sign. While most are probably quick to note that Kouzmanoff had never played in the American League prior to this season, the truth is that he did not have the type of season many expected him to have on offense.
Kouzmanoff is an exceptional defender, but one has to wonder what the Encarnacion deal means for the popular ‘Kouz.’ Encarnacion, 27, was rumored to have been on the A’s radar earlier this season when he was in Triple-A Las Vegas. Encarnacion hit .244/.305/.482 with 21 home runs and 51 RBIs in 92 games with Toronto this season.
Encarnacion brings some power to the table, he does come with a history. Encarnacion has been deemed ‘healthy’ by A’s Assistant GM, David Forst, but that still doesn’t hide the fact that Encarnacion has had injury problems in the past.
The A’s seem to be trying to address their lack of power, but is Encarnacion here to stay, or is he just another piece to Billy Beane’s offseason puzzle?
Also noted on the A’s official website was a rumor/report that the team has signed 16-year old pitcher Vicmal de la Cruz. You can find out more about this particular deal by clicking here.
These offseason moves have me wondering about what GM Billy Beane might have up his sleeve. Is he stockpiling ‘talent’ in the hopes of unloading it all in a trade for an impact player, like let’s say, Matt Kemp? Or is Beane simply playing Moneyball, by signing/picking up players no one else wants? Sound off below if you like…