On the National League Championship Series travel day, three teams completed a four player trade. The Oakland Athletics receive outfielder Chris Young, the Arizona Diamondbacks pick up relief pitcher Heath Bell and middle infielder Cliff Pennington, while the Miami Marlins grab minor league shortstop Yordy Cabrera.
Hot Stove: A's, DBacks, and Marlins Swap Players
Sunday October 21st, 2012
Athletics GM Billy Beane got the ball rolling on this trade when he inquired about Chris Young the day after the A's were eliminated from the playoffs.
Young's potential at the plate has always been hampered by a high strikeout rate and a subpar on-base percentage. He did have a stellar start to the 2012 season, posting a .410/.500/.897 triple slash line with five home runs through the first month of play, but had to miss time with a shoulder injury he suffered at the beginning of May. It's hard to say if it was success over a small sample size of at-bats, or the injury that derailed Young's season, but he finished the year with just 14 home runs and a .231/.311/.434 triple-slash.
Even though he's not always had consistent success at the plate, the 29 year-old Young will give the Athletics another plus fielding outfielder to go along with Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, and Josh Reddick. It is likely the team will utilize the designated hitter spot to get all four bats into the everyday lineup, but it is possible to see Young and Reddick platoon in right field for Oakland.
At 29 years-old, Young is starting to see the end of a player's typical prime performance years, but Beane may have got a steal here. Oakland only gave up a dispensable Cliff Pennington, because of the return of a healthy Scott Sizemore next season, and minor league shortstop Yordy Cabrera in the deal.
In return for moving Chris Young out of a crowded outfield in Arizona, the Diamondbacks pick up former closer, and veteran relief pitcher, Heath Bell and middle infielder Cliff Pennington. Both players had down years in 2012. Bell saw his ERA balloon to 5.09, and Pennington's OPS sat more than 100 points lower than his previous three-year average.
Bell should settle in as the team's seventh inning man, while David Hernandez takes care of the eighth, and J.J. Putz, whose 2013 option was just picked up by the team, will hold onto his ninth inning closer role.
Cliff Pennington will more than likely serve as the team's starting shortstop in 2013, but could split time with utility man Willie Bloomquist if he struggles too much at the plate. Pennington's bat may be resurrected though, considering the move out of Oakland's Coliseum into the much more hitter friendly Chase Field in Arizona.
Finally, the Miami Marlins, who spent a lot of money last off-season, were able to unload a chunk of it in this deal, when they essentially traded Bell to the Diamondbacks to get minor league shortstop Yordy Cabrera. Heath Bell is still owed $21 million on the remainder of his contract, but now the Marlins are only obligated to pay $8 million of it.
Yordy Cabrera, 22 years-old, was a second round pick by the A's in the 2010 amateur draft. He has spent the last two seasons at low and high Single-A ball in the Athletics system. His at-bats were limited in 2012 due to injury, but he carries a minor league career .230/.297/.351 triple-slash line, with 183 strikeouts in 595 at-bats. Cabrera's fielding is not that impressive either, committing 61 errors in 392 career attempts in the field.
From a fantasy stand point, Chris Young and Cliff Pennington's value should see an increase entering 2013, with Heath Bell's value declining. Young probably would not have seen every day at-bats in Arizona's lineup, but it initially sounds like he will in Oakland. Pennington is also going from a part-time role to full-time at-bats, unless the Diamondbacks pick up another option at shortstop this off-season. Heath Bell may have had a chance to see some save opportunities if he had stayed in Miami, but he clearly starts the season third on the closer depth chart, behind Hernandez and Putz in Arizona.
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