Billy Beane continues to throw Oakland Athletics fans into a frenzy with his latest move which sends Derek Norris to the San Diego Padres, a team who is clearly working on a 58 man roster. The trade involves Jesse Hahn, R.J. Alvarez, and Seth Streich.
I will be the first to admit that I operated on the assumption that by hiring a part time catching coach, Derek Norris was going to be safe for one more season. That was stupid. I should never assume these types of things.
Derek Norris, a fan favorite, had proven to be a liability defensively and, in some ways, changed the course of the wildcard game of 2014. Offensively, Norris was solid hitting .270 on the season, .311 against left handed pitchers and .244 against right handers with five homeruns from each. Based on his defensive ability alone, it is not much of a surprise that Norris was on the trade block and with a depth of catchers set for 2015 nobody should be surprised that one of them is gone.
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The Athletics also gave up Seth Streich, a low A ball pitcher with a 3.37 career ERA, in this trade but with the number of pitchers Beane has collected in the past month he can afford to use a number of them as trade bait. In fact, if you’re speculating that some of these pitching acquisitions will have to be traded to make room for “the big trade” that Beane is inevitably working on, you’re not alone.
So who do the A’s get in return for their All Star catcher? Jesse Hahn, who made 12 starts with the Padres in 2014, carries a major league 3.07 ERA and struck out 70 with 32 walks in 73.1 innings. Expect a more detailed report on him right here on the site tomorrow morning. The A’s also get R.J. Alvarez, a right handed pitcher with a 1.13 ERA in 8 major league innings and a 2.41 ERA in 119.1 minor league innings and an international signing slot.
As always, it’s impossible to predict what Beane’s next move will be but this Derek Norris trade now means that the Athletics are carrying 10 potential starting pitchers. It is not unreasonable to expect a big move in the near future that involves some of these pitchers for a major hitter. Put the whiskey down, catch your breath and remember that this is not going to be Beane’s final move and, if you like Stephen Vogt, this is pretty good news for you because he is likely the A’s new everyday catcher.
At the risk of sounding like a Polyanna fan, I think this is probably a good move but I welcome your analysis on the topic. Hit us up on Ask.fm, leave us a voicemail at 925-322-1739, or fill the comments below and, as always, come back tomorrow for more news and analysis of this trade.