For the second consecutive year, the Oakland A’s made a blockbuster deal with the Atlanta Braves.
Matt Olson was sent to Atlanta last offseason. The return for his services has been decidedly mediocre thus far. Shea Langeliers has done well in the minors and could be a major league asset, but his major league track record is all of 153 plate appearances. Cristian Pache might not ever hit enough to even be a fifth outfielder. Joey Estes struggled in High-A last season while Ryan Cusick battled injuries. Not ideal.
Oakland A’s get ripped off by Atlanta Braves again
This time, Sean Murphy went to Atlanta. Joel Payamps was involved on the A’s side as well, with the Brewers being brought in to add another layer. And, somehow, the A’s appear to have ended up on the worst side of this deal as well.
There is the chance that the A’s will have several building blocks. Kyle Muller has the pure stuff to be a top of the rotation arm. Freddy Tarnok has an impressive fastball and a solid four pitch mix. Esteury Ruiz has excellent speed and the ability to play virtually anywhere on the diamond.
But there are plenty of warts as well. Muller and Tarnok do not have the best command of their stuff and can lose the zone for extended periods. Add in Tarnok’s high effort delivery and it is possible that he becomes a reliever. Ruiz has had swing and miss issues in the past, especially on high fastballs, and has a questionable hit tool. Those issues manifested in his very brief trial at the major league level last year.
If everything comes together, this is the type of deal where the A’s will have acquired at least two game changing talents. The problem is that everything has to come together perfectly for that to be the case. Consideirng how many teams were interested in Murphy, and how the A’s could have had their pick from nearly a dozen teams, hoping on potential is not nearly good enough. It appears as though once again, the Braves saw the A’s front office coming.
The Atlanta Braves fleeced the Oakland A’s on yet another trade. Maybe next offseason, the A’s will hang up with the Braves come calling.