Busy day for Athletics

The Oakland Athletics had a busy day today, shaking up their 40-man roster.

For starters, the team traded Aaron Miles and a player to be named later to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Willy Taveras and infielder Adam Rosales.

Miles is due for a $4.9 million salary in 2010, although the Cubs sent along $1 million to the A’s in the offseason’s previous trade that landed Miles with Oakland. (Jake Fox and Miles to the A’s for RHPs Jeff Gray, Ronny Morla and OF Matt Spencer.) Thus, Miles and Taveras are essentially a wash in salaries with Taveras and his $4 million pricetag being immediately designated for assignment.

While the Reds wanted to clear up outfield space and were disappointed in Taveras’ production and hoped to save some cash, Oakland had no problem absorbing Taveras at a loss to get Rosales, who fits better on Oakland’s roster. The 26 year old had a rough year off the bench for the Reds, batting .213/.303/.317 in 230 at-bats. He has a strong history of offense in the minors, however, so GM Billy Beane is likely hoping that Rosales just needs time at the big league level. It’s shades of Marco Scutaro and his big break with Oakland, although Scutaro’s break came at an older age. With Rosales’ ability to play shortstop, he has a chance to log a good number of at-bats and might be a candidate to morph into a league-average starter.

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

With Taveras immediately designated for assignment, Beane will get to work trying to swap Taveras. Given the price tag, however, Beane will have to chip in a significant amount to move him unless he takes another similarly overpaid player, much like he just jettisoned in Aaron Miles. If any team claims Taveras and his $4 million salary off waivers, it should be considered a coup for Oakland as Willy is nothing more than a fourth outfielder. He boasts solid defense and speed but not much past that.

Oakland also designated Dana Eveland, a left-handed pitcher, for assignment after claiming infielder Steven Tolleson off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Eveland, as a 26-year old lefty, still has value despite a disastrous 2009 campaign in which he posted a 7.16 ERA in 44 innings along with a 2.18 WHIP. In 2008, Eveland made 29 starts and threw up a 4.34 ERA over 168 innings. He’s exactly the type of young, left-handed cost-controlled starter that other teams should take a chance on, particularly in the National League. His xFIP was 5.20, which while not pretty, is a sight better than the 7.16 ERA he tossed up. This may be too much to hope for, but throwing him in the mix for a spot on the Mets would be intriguing. Nothing to lose.

Tolleson has a career line of .276/.368/.400 hitter in 2,132 minor league plate appearances. He cracked Triple-A for the first time at age 25 last year and will be eligible for minor league free agency after 2010. He boasts zero chance of making the big-league roster out of spring training but will provide depth at infield for Triple-A Sacramento. Given the club has a bunch of moving parts at second base and shortstop with no clear long-term answer at both starter and backup, Tolleson was a logical claiming.

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  1. Evan Brunell said...

    Yes, they did. I didn’t include him because the Gross news broke yesterday, although the move wasn’t official until today. I suppose he could have been included in the write-up. He’s a great platoon outfielder, but finds himself in quite the roster crunch. It’s a major league deal, so he’ll be on the team, it looks like. Should get a fair number of at-bats against right-handed pitchers.

  2. rob said...

    Um, why designate Eveland?  Seems like a cheap lefty coming in to his prime years with some past success has value, no?

  3. Walt in Maryland said...

    I’ll bet that Beane already has a destination in mind for Taveras.  Given Oakland’s financial limitations, he wouldn’t risk having to eat that $4 million contract.

  4. Rafi said...

    Miles’s contract is 2/$4.9, this year he’s making $2.7 million(including a million from the Cubs). Basically this means that the A’s took on $2.3 million to get Rosales.

  5. Joe R said...

    Raise your hand if you think Jocketty made this trade just so Dusty Baker wouldn’t be tempted to give Taveras another 400+ PA season.


  6. Evan Brunell said...

    That was the very first thought that jumped to my mind, Joe!

    Walt—I would sure hope so. It’s curious if not. I know Oakland has a bunch of money to throw around… they offered Beltre and Scutaro and of course signed Sheets. But I can’t imagine Rosales being worth that outlay, even though they jettisoned Miles.

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