Oakland A’s have their answer at second with Tommy La Stella

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 21: Tommy La Stella #9 of the Los Angeles Angels bats against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the six inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 21: Tommy La Stella #9 of the Los Angeles Angels bats against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the six inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s have made a move to upgrade at second, acquiring Tommy La Stella from the Los Angeles Angels.

If the Oakland A’s were to make a move at the trade deadline, it was expected that they would look to upgrade at second base. The duo of Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder simply have not produced at a level the A’s had been hoping for.

On Friday, the A’s addressed the position, acquiring Tommy La Stella from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Franklin Barreto.

La Stella had been a solid utility option with the Cubs before being acquired by Los Angeles. He showed a strong batting eye and a bit of pop, but never received enough playing time to prove himself.

That changed with his trade to Los Angeles. Given a regular spot in the lineup, La Stella blossomed into an All Star. He produced a .295/.346/.486 batting line in 321 plate appearances, hitting 16 homers and eight doubles, drawing 20 walks and striking out just 28 times. Unfortunately, he missed a chunk of the season after fouling a ball off his leg and breaking his right tibia.

He has not missed a beat this season. In fact, La Stella has been even better, with his current 130 OPS+ a career best. He has produced a .273/.371/.475 batting line with eight doubles and four homers in his 117 plate appearances, drawing 15 walks with just seven strikeouts.

La Stella, however, is not a defensive upgrade. He has already cost the Angels four runs defensively this season and his constantly displayed below average range at the position. However, the A’s have plenty of options to choose from as a defensive replacement later in the game.

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Tommy La Stella may be the last piece the Oakland A’s need. His bat will be a welcome upgrade to the lineup.

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