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