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Indians complete trade with A's for Brandon Moss

December 8, 2014
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The Indians and Athletics completed a deal on Monday with the Athletics sending first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss to the Indians for Indians second base prospect Joe Wendle.

Moss, 31, was an All Star last season and hit .234 with 25 homers, 81 RBI and .772 OPS in 147 games with the Athletics. Over the last three seasons with the Athletics he has hit .254 with 76 homers, 220 RBI and .844 OPS, and had a 135 wRC+ and .250 isolated power. While he is a left-handed hitter he done well against right-handed pitching (.248 AVG, .801 OPS) and held his own against left-handed pitchers over his career (.248 AVG, .723 OPS).

Moss had a great first half last season hitting .268 with 21 homers, 66 RBI and .878 OPS in the first half but struggled in the second half hitting .171 with 4 homers, 15 RBI and .584 OPS. He struggled with a hip injury in the second which hindered his performance and had offseason surgery to correct the issue. He has experience at both first base and in left and right field, so he should play one of those three positions along with designated hitter next season. He is also under club control through the 2016 season and is projected to earn around $7 million in arbitration this winter.

Wendle, 24, hit .253 with 8 homers, 50 RBI and .725 OPS in 87 games at Double-A Akron last season. He missed several weeks in the middle of the season because of a hand injury and was never really the same when he returned to the lineup. His big breakout came in 2013 when he hit .295 with 16 homers, 64 RBI and .885 OPS in 107 games at High-A Carolina.

User Comments

December 9, 2014 - 9:53 PM EST
@Homer, don't get greedy, if Texas is willing to take Murphy off our hands, take the cash and leave it at that. Our 40 man is pretty full and we really don't have much space on the 25-man.

Swisher for Kemp would be interesting. But without a DH and they already have Adrian, I don't think it will be a good match. And there seems to be talk of concrete interest for Kemp.
December 8, 2014 - 6:16 PM EST
CL Who,

A stop gap until Pederson is ready, and to maintain OF depth for other trades. Their primary concern could be clearing up salary and roster spots. Adding back Bourn would allow them to still deal Either and / or Van Slyke AND Kemp. Bourn is only under contract for another two yrs. Just saying, they might be open to's a sellers mkt, there's more clubs looking for talent than talent that's readily available.
December 8, 2014 - 6:16 PM EST
+1 Shy.

While I like Wendle a lot I do recognize that I have severe prospectitis and not everyone can make it to the bigs wearing a C on their uni. And looking at it as most objectively as I can, while I thought of Wendle as a Jeff Kemp possible; really on the top end he projects to be Jason Kipnis without speed and on the low end as Cord Phelps. Plus coming off hamate bone injury that often limits players coming back from it and the other, higher priority options blocking him in this system, I believe the Indians sold at the best price possible for him.

Even with very legitimate concerns about Moss in regard to his hip surgery which in my mind makes him very much a gamble, I still think giving up Wendle in exchange for that risk is well worthwhile. And if Moss does perform, in this ballpark, even if just for 2 years, he is a great get by this front office. My guess is the delay in consummating this transaction was due to the Indians doing their due dilgance with their medical staff to feel confident enough in the state of his recovery to sign off on it. While reassuring to some degree, it still is a shaky proposition as others have pointed out.

I don't think anyone can begrudge this trade but do keep in mind that this isn't so much a Tribe front office coup as it is a suitor in Beane coming to us and identifying who he wanted in exchange for what he was willing to give up. Much like the Donaldson trade, these were seller driven transactions.

It'll be interesting to see how all this shakes out, both near term with the 40 man roster (Maronde is my most likely, followed by Price if they don't do a follow up trade within the allotted time) and long term with the roster make up.

In the end, a lot of risk that this trade could be a bust and added financial burden but an exciting pick up well worth the gamble.
December 8, 2014 - 5:17 PM EST
Swisher and Bourn come off the books, when Moss becomes a FA. Plus I think Bourn could be traded. Teams need CF not many out there.
December 8, 2014 - 4:13 PM EST
This is a great deal for the Indians, assuming Moss's hip was properly repaired and his rehab goes well. The guy is a bona fide late bloomer w thunder in his bat. He's a grinder and a money hitter. He was really the only guy on the A's who stepped up in the ALCS against the Royals, it wouldn;t have gone 5 without him. Joey Wendle is a nice player- maybe even the starter for the A's in 2016 if he's healthy. He may not look exactly like Harry Potter but he can hit and Eric Sogard can not. Wasn't in the Indians immediate plans. So the Indians got a DH/1B, occaissional outfielder with major pop and RBI instinct and still have their higher rated prospect group intact. If they can unload Bourn and Swisher and can pick up a 4-5 tool ( or a 3 who can tell good jokes and cook) this team could be good to go to November.
December 8, 2014 - 3:44 PM EST
Trade Bauer for Cespedes? Thoughts...
December 8, 2014 - 3:36 PM EST
I have been very critical of the Dolans... This is a GREAT deal by the Tribe front office!!
C L Who
December 8, 2014 - 3:28 PM EST
Homer, the Dodgers have 6 or 7 outfielders now......why would they want Bourn? and especially if a dead weight like Swish is coming along?

According to the LA Times, the Dodgers are shopping Kemp to the AL, will pay half of his contract, but want some near MLB-ready prospect(s) in return. That doesn't sound like Bourn and Swish, at all.
December 8, 2014 - 3:18 PM EST
Sorry, Homer (re: Swisher/Bourn for Kemp). The Dodgers already have a glut of OF's, and they have Gonzo at 1B, and no DH in the NL. No need for either of those players.
December 8, 2014 - 3:11 PM EST
Morosi, the Tribe is shopping Swisher at the mtgs.

I think Murphy is the one the Tribe will end up moving, but don't rule out the possibility of a Bourn trade.

Maybe the Tribe could send Swisher or Bourn in a pkg to the Dodgers for Kemp and some cash.
December 8, 2014 - 2:19 PM EST
Good move by CA and company. Nothing ventured / nothing gained. Similar to the Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds moves a few yrs back.

I would guess the Indians would have interest in Van Slyke. There are rumors they interest in Alex Rios and Justin Upton.

I think trading Murphy is a reasonable possibility. Who are the suitors?
Baltimore and Texas stand out.

Id want Ryan Rua or Marcos Diplan from Texas. Id want Zach Davies, Tyler Wilson, Jon Keller, or O. Peralta from the Orioles.
December 8, 2014 - 1:57 PM EST
My hope is that Raburn gets DFA'd, maybe some team picks him up for "cash considerations" and they can save an extra 500k. Would not like to see a prospect go just because Raburn is owned money. One of Swisher, Murphy, Raburn has to go anyway sooner or later.

If it's a prospect, most probably one of Price, Maronde,Brewer or Holt
December 8, 2014 - 1:43 PM EST
Id rather have Van Slyke (can we get both?), but I do like this trade. Give up a blocked prospect for good power. Agree only likely a 2 year rental but I believe we will have someone in AAA ready to take over by the. Going to be interesting to see what happens to David Murphy and also who gets DFA on the 40-man for Moss.
Ron Vollmar
December 8, 2014 - 1:24 PM EST
Brandon Moss will benefit from moving from a Pitching ball park to a hitting ball park, especially for a left handed hitter.

He might only be a two year rental, but, won't some minor league hitters be available to step up in 2017?

So, shopping list is now a right handed power hitter, a starter and reliever.
December 8, 2014 - 1:00 PM EST
What can be said, how can anyone object to this deal for the Indians???

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