The Oakland Athletics have officially announced the trade of reliever Evan Scribner for minor league reliever Trey Cochran-Gill. As a result of the trade, the A's have 38 players counting against their 40-man roster limit pending the official signing of reliever Ryan Madson.
For the A's to get anything out of Evan Scribner, who didn't appear likely to survive roster cuts down to the 25-man roster after Oakland's bullpen revamp, is not a bad feat. In Cochran-Gill they get a reliever he may need a little more time at the lower levels, or he might not escape at all, but that was pretty much the same thing they would have gotten out of just cutting Scribner.
About Trey Cochran-Gill
Cochran-Gill turns 23 on Thursday, and was the #17 prospect on the MLB.com Seattle Mariners prospect rankings. MLB.com has placed Cochran-Gill as the #30 prospect in Oakland's prospect rankings. He was drafted in the 17th round of the 2014 Draft. After striking out 18 and walking three in 19 2/3 innings at High-A Bakersfield to the tune of a 1.37 ERA, Cochran-Gill was promoted to Double-A Jackson. There, his K/BB fell off in his first foray through Double-A, striking out 30 and walking 32 in 53 innings with a 5.43 ERA.
Then-FanGraphs lead prospect analyst Kiley McDaniel rated Cochran-Gill as a pitcher "to keep an eye on" in the lower levels of the Mariner system at the start of 2015, with this brief: "5'10 fast-track reliever; often he's 90-93 but has touched a few notches higher and lower at times; he also has an above average slider in the mid-80's and some effort to his delivery."
And finally, one curiosity: Cochran-Gill has yet to concede a home run in 111 1/3 regular season professional innings. Other than a spring training home run allowed in 2015, the last time Cochran-Gill conceded a home run was in 2012, when he gave up one home run in the summer Valley Baseball League after his freshman year of college, and two home runs in his freshman season proper at Auburn.
About Evan Scribner
The out-of-options Evan Scribner earned a spot in the A's bullpen coming off of a strong 2015 spring training where he demonstrated a new effective cutter that enabled Scribner to throw 14 1/3 innings with 19 strikeouts and just three walks with a 2.51 ERA in the spring.
He was, for a time, one of the few effective relievers in the A's horror show of a bullpen in the early part of the season. In his first 27 appearances, he struck out 36 batters and walked just two in 31 1/3 innings with a 2.01 ERA through June 6, allowing just three home runs.
It was a tale of two halves for Scribner, however, as in his final 27 appearances he allowed 11 home runs to take his full year HR/9 to 2.10, easily the highest among qualified relievers in baseballs. From June 7 until August 31, his last appearance before going on the disabled list with a torn lat muscle, Scribner was charged with a 6.91 ERA. He still rarely walked batters, however, striking out 28 and walking two, so his K/BB ratio of 16.00 easily outpaced all relievers in baseball.
It could very well be that the even more pitcher-friendly Safeco Field works out perfectly for the homer happy Scribner. His 1.05 GB/FB ratio is within the third-most flyball prone qualified relievers.
The A's tendered Scribner a contract at the non-tender deadline, and MLB Trade Rumors projects he will earn $700,000 in his first year of arbitration, a Super 2 arbitration year. Scribner remains under club control through the end of the 2019 season.
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