The Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres have officially completed a trade that will send left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz, left-handed reliever prospect Jose Torres, and a player to be named later to the San Diego Padres. In return, the A's will receive left-handed batting first baseman Yonder Alonso and left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski.
Word of the deal coming close to fruition was first reported by ESPN's Keith Law. The Alonso for Pomeranz swap was confirmed by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Confirmation of the entire package was reported by San Diego Padres MLB.com beat writer Corey Brock.
What the A's get
First baseman Yonder Alonso, turning 29 in April, has two years of team control remaining and is projected to earn $2.5 million at arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors. In 2015, he hit .282/.361/.381 over 402 plate appearance with five home runs for the Padres, a wRC+ of 111 in San Diego's spacious Petco Park and in line with his career wRC+ of 108 between the Reds and Padres.
The left-handed batting Alonso has a typical split favoring right-handed pitching, against whom he hit .287/.364/.398 in 316 plate appearances, for a 115 wRC+. His career wRC+ against right-handers is 112 (.282/.348/.409).
Left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski, who turned 30 last August, is in his final year of team control and is projected to earn $3 million at arbitration by the MLB Trade Rumors model. Rzepczynski, nicknamed "Scrabble," has a very groundball heavy batted ball profile, ending up with a 5.50 GB/FB ratio last season, second only to Zach Britton of the Baltimore Orioles (min. 30 IP).
Rzepczynski's ground ball profile kept his FIP to 3.36, but his 5.66 ERA in 35 innings between the Indians and Padres leaves something to be desired. The idea behind FIP, of course, is to try to push fielding out of the equation in evaluating pitchers, and by advanced defensive metrics San Diego did have the worst UZR/150 in the majors. He moves to an A's club that had the second worst UZR/150, however. But it's a new year.
One thing the A's might enjoy about Rzepcynski has been his health since he converted to a reliever in the 2011 season. He has made at least 70 professional appearances every year since then, mostly in a left-handed specialist role, and his innings have been limited.
What the Padres get
Pomeranz turned 27 last month and remains under team control for three more seasons. He is projected to earn $1.3 million in his first trip through arbitration. The A's had acquired him for Brett Anderson hoping that he would be a starter, and he did make 19 starts for the A's over the last two seasons. However, an unfortunate incident where he broke his glove hand punching a chair after his first poor start with the A's saw him move into the bullpen as the A's made acquisitions around him in 2014.
He initially returned to the rotation at the start of 2015, but recurring AC joint problems in his throwing shoulder prompted a trip to the disabled list and assignment to the bullpen upon his return. He had clavicle resection surgery this offseason, "a minimally invasive procedure meant to relieve pain in the AC joint," writes CSN Bay Area's Joe Stiglich.
One of the major criticisms of Drew Pomeranz as a starting pitcher is that he only had two pitches to work with, a 93 mph fastball and a pretty devastating curveball that would get him through the first trip through the lineup. His second time through, he would have difficulty striking out batters and often engaged in protracted plate appearances that resulted in a walk. In 2015, his K:BB ratio the first time through the order as a starting pitcher was 18:4 (4.50), but his second time through it was 9:7 (1.29), resulting in a 60 point increase in on base percentage.
As a reliever, Pomeranz's repertoire played quite well. He has a career 2.14 ERA in 63 relief innings and a 3.16 FIP.
The A's signed left-handed reliever Jose Torres as a 16-year-old Venezuelan in the 2010-11 international signing period. Torres was Oakland's No. 23 prospect on the MLB.com prospect list and was just added to the 40-man roster to protect him from this December's Rule 5 draft. Now 22, Torres played primarily at Low-A Beloit last season with a very brief trip to High-A Stockton in his first year as a reliever.
in 77 1/3 innings pitched between the clubs, Torres had a 2.56 ERA while striking out 84 and walking 24. Torres' velocity apparently jumped as a result of the move to relieving, with MLB.com reporting that he "usually sits at 92-94 mph and peaks at 96."
Player to be named
At this stage the concern would be that a proposed player to be named would get selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft:
@enosarris player that’s eligible for Rule 5— Mike Ferrin (@MikeFerrinSXM) December 2, 2015
For 2015, it seems the A's are swapping poor health (Pomeranz's AC joint) and a reliever prospect (Torres) for a healthier left-hander (Rzepczynski) and a first baseman on the heavier side of the platoon (Alonso). The Padres are accepting those health risks to see if they get two good left-handed pitchers out of this swap plus whoever it is that will be named after the Rule 5 draft.
If there was any doubt before, Ike Davis is now assuredly on the way to a non-tender today. Injuries derailed Ike Davis' 2015 such that he had just an 85 wRC+ against right-handers and was not expected to earn any increase on his $3.8 million salary at arbitration.
Rzepczynski also creates a specific left-handed specialist role in the bullpen following the departures of Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz profiled better as a multiple-inning pitcher, but the A's will have a multiple-inning left-hander anyway in Sean Nolin, who is out of options.
Pomeranz station is now Alonso-Rzepczynski station, with terminals at Mulder station and Torres station. Further service changes will be announced later today: