The San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics announced this weekend that they had completed a four-player trade. In a move which Oakland acquires yet another third basemen, San Diego re-acquires a surprising right-handed power bat.
Here is how the deal breaks down:
Oakland A's Received:
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
2009 Stats: .255/.302/.420, .722 OPS, 18 HR, 88 RBI
2B Eric Sogard
2009 Stats: .293/.370/.400, .771 OPS, 6 HR, 51 RBI (With Double-A San Antonio)
San Diego Padres Received:
OF Scott Hairston
2009 Stats: .265/.307/.456/, .763 OPS, 17 HR, 64 RBI, 11 SB (Split time with San Diego and Oakland)
OF Aaron Cunningham
2009 Stats: .302/.372/.479, .851 OPS, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 11 SB (83 games with Triple-A Sacramento)
Kevin Kouzmanoff was rumored to be heading somewhere earlier in the off-season, but finally seems to have found a new home in Oakland. While Kouz is leaving un-hitter friendly Petco Park, he's not exactly going to a "band box" in Oakland. Last season, the A's hitters had a .259 AVG while playing at home and while it isn't terrific, it surely beats the .219 AVG the Padres' hitters had at Petco last season.
Kouz brings an above-average fielding reputation to Oakland along with his .261/.308/.435, .743 OPS career batting line. Kouz turned some heads last season in the power department with his 18 HR, but was usually just a waiver-wire pick up in most leagues. Yes, Kouz is leaving Petco, but it doesn't mean his numbers will jump off the charts. Expectations should be that Kouz is a late-round deep mixed-league pick, but a must own in AL Only leagues.
With Kouzmanoff expected to be the everyday 3B in Oakland, the A's now have to deal with trying to find homes for 3B/OF Jake Fox and 3B Eric Chavez (don't hold your breath). The move of Hairston and Cunningham also clears the air with regards to OF Coco Crisp's playing time. Crisp can now have complete control of centerfield as OF Rajai Davis looks to shift over to LF fulltime.
Scott Hairston returns to San Diego after being traded to Oakland before the trading deadline last season. Prior to his departure, Hairston slugged 10 HR (5 at Petco Park) and proved to be a nice waiver pick up for NL/AL Only leagues. The same logic should apply with Hairston in 2010, he's woth a look in NL Only leagues.
With the move back to San Diego, Hairston looks likely to have the LF spot locked up as 3B/OF Chase Headley will slide into third base. Chase showed some signs of life in 2009, batting .262/.342/.392 with 12 HR and 64 RBI. The only issue with Headley is his poor Petco batting average, which is .218 over his 2 year career, but on the flip side, he hits over .300 on the road. Headley had little or no value heading into drafts this season, but his value will certainly be reviewed with the move to 3B.
The final piece of the Hairston-Koumanoff deal is outfielder Aaron Cunningham, who owners should keep an eye on as the season progresses. Cunningham hit over .300 in Triple-A last season and played in just 23 games for Oakland last year. Cunningham could compete with OF Will Venable and OF Kyle Blanks for the final outfield spot and should find decent playing time. CHONE projections had Cunningham with .266/.328/.422, 10 HR, 42 RBI stat line for Oakland in 2010, which should still be attainable with the move to San Diego. For now, Cunningham looks to be a player to monitor as Spring Training wraps up and the Padres make their final moves.
Overall, the trade doesn't favor one team or the other. If anything, the Padres seem to get a boost with Hairston and Cunningham as Headley can return to his natural position of 3B and Kyle Blanks is stopped from running around in the outfield.