Yesterday was annual Refresh Twitter Day and it yielded results for the A’s, as they made one of the biggest deadline day trades, shipping both Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Dodgers for a trio of pitching prospects. We knew it was probably coming, as both players were due to be free agents after this season. There had been some talk of extending one or both, but come on – this is the A’s. The expected happened. A similar scenario is how we even got Reddick in the first place. It’s the cycle of the A’s roster.
Reddick was a really good Oakland A – a little flamboyant, definitely unique, and an excellent fielder and a good hitter most of the time. I will have lasting memories of him gunning down runners at third and delivering post-game pies to the faces of walkoff heroes. He was probably one of our most recognizable Oakland A’s in the last two years, so this is a loss of identity as much as it a loss of one of our best players. But we’re used to being the anonymous team.
Rich Hill’s short stay here leaves me with little feelings about him leaving, other than it’s nice to get something for a guy that was signed out of free agency. He was stellar in the 76 innings he pitched as an A, but with little on the line this season, I won’t remember him for much more than just passing through. That’s unfortunate, because he’s been a great story in baseball the last year and will probably continue to be with the Dodgers.
The return for this trade sounds like a very good one. I don’t pretend to know who prospects are most of the time so I leave it to people who know, and the general consensus is that the A’s did very well getting Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas, and Jharel Cotton in return for Reddick and Hill. Holmes is the big get of the deal, drafted in the first round just last season, while Montas and Cotton are more advanced but lower ceiling arms. I’ve seen the “#2 starter” ceiling thrown around for Holmes, which is probably about or maybe slightly better than Sean Manaea level. It remains to be seen whether Montas and Cotton are rotation or bullpen material, but we’ll probably find out soon-ish. Both project to be in Oakland in ’17, if not this season.
We’ve seen a lot of A’s teams over the years and they are always built around good, young pitching. This is where it begins. I know a lot of fans get sick of the trades, but being mad about stuff like this is really short-sighted. I get how roster building works. We’ve been good before and we’ll be good again. Go A’s…