Zack Erwin may not have been a part of the initial return for Josh Donaldson, but he was included in that trade tree. Erwin, along with J.B. Wendelken, was acquired in the deal that sent Brett Lawrie to the White Sox following the 2015 season. As the years went on, Erwin was eventually the final piece left in the organization from the Donaldson deal, the last hope that the Oakland A’s could salvage some value from that trade.
Those hopes ended on Wednesday. Erwin posted on Twitter that he has signed with the Rays for the 2022 season, ending his time with the A’s.
Zack Erwin departure ends Josh Donaldson trade tree
The trade was a disaster from the beginning. Donaldson won the AL MVP in 2015, his first season in Toronto, and had an excellent run before being traded to the Guardians at the deadline in 2018. The A’s, meanwhile, received virtually zero production from the players they acquired, although they somehow managed to turn Franklin Barreto into two months of Tommy La Stella.
Erwin never found his way to the majors, topping out at Triple-A last season. He has posted a 4.18 ERA and a 1.408 WHiP in his 491.1 minor league innings, striking out 438 batters with 145 walks. Erwin had shuffled between the rotation and bullpen during his career before converting to relief full time in 2019.
While those numbers are not terrible, it was questionable as to whether or not he had much of a future with the A’s. He will turn 28 years old before the start of the season and had just 15 games of experience at Triple-A. At best, he seemed to be a depth option that might get a look during the rebuilding process.
Now he will be heading to the Rays instead. The Rays have built a reputation on finding diamonds in the rough, especially when it comes to pitching. Erwin will now be a part of their system and could end up making an impact. It just will not happen with the A’s.
The disastrous Josh Donaldson trade tree is now complete. Zack Erwin has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, leaving the Oakland A’s behind.