Aug 16, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays infielderYunel Escobar
(11) hits an RBI single against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports
According to Ken Rosenthal (the honest to goodness real one, not the one that made an appearance on the MLB Network trade deadline show) has reported that Yunel Escobar has been claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics.
Escobar would be a good addition, mainly because we don’t know how long Jed Lowrie will be on the D.L. with a fracture of his right index finger. If the recovery time takes a little longer than expected, Yunel Escobar could slide right in.
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On the season, Escobar is hitting .251 with 4 home runs and 31 RBI. Offensively, this is good enough for a 1.1 Wins Above Replacement. His defense however is a little shaky. Escobar’s dWAR is -1.3 on the season. Paired with either Eric Sogard or Andy Parrino up the middle for a game, and then replaced with the other option late in-game would be the best course of action.
This is all if the A’s wind up getting Escobar of course. Personally, I think the Athletics would be fine without the addition of Yunel Escobar. As briefly touched upon above, Escobar’s personal choices are iffy at best. In September of 2012, Escobar was suspended 3 games for using a gay slur on his eye black. This shows premeditated intent, and bad vibes may not mesh in this clubhouse.
Couple that with the fact that Sogard is on a hot streak, and plays superior defense, and the need for Escobar is not that drastic.
The one possible reason Billy Beane may be looking at Yunel Escobar is how he has hit Angel pitching. In his career, he owns a .366 batting average against the Angels’ current staff, including a .417 and .538 average against C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver respectively.
Whether or not the A’s and Rays agree on a deal remains to be seen. As Rosenthal stated, they have until 1 p.m. on Tuesday to complete a trade.