What? Huh? Wait? Yes, Billy Beane has done it again. Another All Star has been sent packing from the Oakland A’s, according to multiple sources. This time it was the Bringer of Rain, Josh Donaldson. Donaldson was traded to the Blue Jays for an array of players, including probable replacement at third base, Brett Lawrie, pitchers Sean Nolin and #10 Jays prospect Kendall Graveman, as well as minor league shortstop, and #5 Jays prospect Franklin Barreto.
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It was a shocking trade for both teams according to MLB writers, as both Donaldson and Lawrie were seen as “untouchables”, but as the elevator scene in Kevin Costner’s movie of the same name shows, everyone is “touchable” if dealt with the proper circumstances.
The A’s, after back-to-back quick exits in the postseason, are surely looking re-build, as well as boost their minor league system, as they’ve rid themselves of key prospects like Addision Russell, and so on.
Barreto is an 18 year-old speedster who played A- ball for the Jays minor league Vancouver team, and had a .311/.384/.481 triple-slash in 73 games, according to BBR. He also added 29 stolen bases, a stat that could possibly played key to his inclusion in the deal.
Gravemen pitched for five different clubs in five different leagues in 2014, splitting time between A, A+, AA, AAA and ultimately the MLB for the Jays. He earned himself a 14-6 record in MiLB, with a 1.83 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, according to MiLB.com.
Nolin, 24, pitched in three different leagues in 2014, and according to Susan Slusser, the A’s had been eyeing him for a while. Nolin held a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts with a 1.216 WHIP.
The main addition for the club is Lawrie, 24, who will more than likely join the club in Donaldson’s capacity, covering the hot corner. Lawrie was injury-plagued in 2014, playing only 70 games, but showed some significant pop with 12 home runs. Lawrie has a .265 career average and .748 career OPS. Lawrie also could see time at second base, a position he saw some time at in 2014. Lawrie, against RHP batted .263/.321/.439, as opposed to .197/.234/.361 against south paws.
The trade came as a surprise to many A’s fans, but to others, nothing is surprising. Since 2012 the A’s have dealt away five former All Stars (Andrew Bailey, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Yoenis Cespedes and Donaldson). It’s common practice for Billy when he knows he isn’t going to be able to retain the players, but in Donaldson’s case, he was under club control for the foreseeable future.
It’s a confusing trade to wrap your head around, which kind of makes you wonder if more moves are coming. Donaldson, who will turn 29 in December seems to be hitting his prime, while Lawrie is still working his way up to his ceiling, but he’s obviously regarded as a high-potential player.
There have been rumors swirling around the A’s first basemen overload as well as ace Jeff Samardzija.
For now, the A’s move on. And Billy Beane and Oakland have to regulate.