Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!
- Athletics starting pitcher Jesse Hahn "won't throw a ball for a month," per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 25 year-old righty had missed consecutive starts with a forearm strain. Hahn was enjoying a successful start to the season in Oakland, posting a 3.35 ERA (3.43 FIP) over sixteen starts. Hahn's UCL is indeed intact, which is great news. However, he could end up missing the entire remainder of the season, or at best returning for September. Fellow righty Chris Bassitt will replace Hahn in the rotation.
- Many scouts were in attendance to view lefty Scott Kazmir's gem on Saturday, per Slusser. The "usual crowd" was there - representatives from the Blue Jays, Tigers, Royals, and Yankees. These scouts got a treat, as they had the pleasure of watching Kazmir breeze through a strong Twins lineup, allowing only one earned run over 8 1/3 innings. Thanks to his great recent performance and the struggles of other trade candidates like Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto, Kazmir's value has never been higher.
- Speaking of Hamels, the Phillies ace struggled in front of scouts on Saturday. The southpaw surrendered five earned runs in three innings while striking out only one against a damaged Marlins lineup missing sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Michael Morse, along with speedster Dee Gordon. Hamels' ERA is up to 3.91, uncharacteristic for a pitcher of his caliber. Scouts from the Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs, Orioles, and Red Sox were in attendance to watch Hamels' start, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. I, for one, doubt they were impressed.
- Some quick hits on trade rumors: the Orioles have shown interest in righty Johnny Cueto and outfielder Jay Bruce of the Reds (link), outfielder Justin Upton of the Padres (link), and outfielder Carlos Gomez of the Brewers (link); the Houston Astros have also shown interest in Upton (link); and the Angels had a scout in attendance to watch Bruce (link). Josh Reddick and/or Ben Zobrist could make sense for any of these clubs. However, Reddick's name as not been mentioned by anyone notable since word leaked that the Angels tried to trade for him. This makes me believe that Reddick could be deemed "untouchable" by the A's front office, or perhaps they have placed a very high price tag on the right fielder that other teams are not willing to meet.
- General Manager A.J. Preller has seemed to destroy the entire San Diego Padres organization in only a matter of months, as Rany Jazayerli writes for GrantLand.com. Preller entered his new position as GM with a mediocre major league club but a strong farm, and after a flurry of moves, is now left with a weak team and a weak farm. The article is fascinating, and is definitely worth a read. It certainly makes me feel a lot better about Billy Beane and the A's organization, despite their disappointing 2015.
Bernie's Daily Deal: Ben Zobrist and Scott Kazmir to the New York Yankees for Nathan Eovaldi, Rob Refsnyder, and Ramon Flores
Here we go, a blockbuster of sorts. The Yankees have shown plenty of interest in Zobrist, and had scouts in attendance at Kazmir's last start, so why not target both? This deal would make them clear favorites to win the AL East, and they do have replacements for the free-agents-to-be (Jose Pirela at second base for Zobrist, Luis Severino in the rotation for Kazmir).
Meanwhile, the A's would add three MLB-ready talents. Eovaldi is a puzzling right-handed starter. The 25 year-old's average fastball velocity is a whopping 96.1 MPH, and he has solid offspeed pitches and nice control (2.39 BB/9), but he somehow just doesn't get strikeouts (6.52 K/9, 8.3% swinging strike rate). However, Eovaldi could thrive in Oakland, and perhaps the coaching staff could unlock his full potential. Eovaldi's 4.50 ERA looks bad, but his 3.53 FIP is much better. The righty is under team control through arbitration through 2017, but could perhaps be locked up longer prior to a breakout. Eovaldi as he is right now is valuable, as a number three or number four starter. But if he hits his ceiling, he could become an ace.
In addition, the A's would receive a second baseman to replace Zobrist in Rob Refsnyder. Refsnyder has done nothing but hit in the minors. He offers the potential for up to fifteen home runs, as well as up to twenty stolen bases. The 24 year-old right-handed hitter also has great plate discipline. His defense at second base is a bit shaky, but it would likely be manageable, and at worst he could be moved to the outfield. His ceiling seems to be Marco Scutaro, which would make him a very valuable player. Ramon Flores is basically Sam Fuld, but much younger, and with more upside. The 23 year-old is a great defensive outfielder with decent speed and pop and solid plate discipline. He would function well as a fourth outfielder, with potential to start. Refsnyder and Flores each have six years of team control remaining.
That's all for today. No A's game today, but the Angels do play a doubleheader against the Red Sox, so go ahead and root for the Red Sox for the only time this year. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!