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The Daily Bernie, 7/29/15: Oakland A's say goodbye to Ben Zobrist

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The final of three marquee Athletics free-agents-to-be has left Oakland, as super-utility man Ben Zobrist was sent to Kansas City, and the Nationals picked up closer Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies, among other news.

Coveted by AN for years, and finally an Athletic for a few months, it's time to say goodbye to Ben Zobrist.
Coveted by AN for years, and finally an Athletic for a few months, it's time to say goodbye to Ben Zobrist.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!

  • The A's biggest trade chip has finally been dealt. Infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist was sent to the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday morning in exchange for Double-A lefty Sean Manaea and Triple-A righty Aaron Brooks. The great Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report that Zobrist was headed to Kansas City, while Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to announce the A's return. The deal is official. Taking Zobrist's roster spot is infielder Max Muncy, and Brooks will take the spot of Drew Pomeranz in the rotation and start on Saturday. Manaea, the main piece in the deal, is a 23 year-old lefty with immense upside, but some injury concerns. Brooks is a 25 year-old righty with great command and seems to be one of the A's usual underrated pick-ups for the back end of their rotation. Many in the industry are impressed with Oakland for grabbing Manaea in exchange for only two months of Zobrist, and all things considered, the deal seems pretty fair for both teams.
  • With Tyler Clippard sent to the Mets on Monday, the Washington Nationals had missed out on what seemed to be one of their top relief targets. So instead, the Nationals went out and picked up closer Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies in exchange for Double-A righty Nick Pivetta, the teams announced. However, Papelbon comes with some baggage - his unpleasant personality is well-documented, and he refused to be dealt unless he could remain closer, meaning superb Nationals closer Drew Storen has been bumped to a set-up role (a move he does not seem all too happy with). Overall, everything could end up fine, but this is a questionable move as far as chemistry goes.
  • The Angels, after picking up Shane Victorino on Monday, continued adding outfield depth on Tuesday. Anaheim acquired David Murphy from the Indians in exchange for young defensively-inclined shortstop Eric Gamets (link), and old friend David DeJesus from the Rays in exchange for 20 year-old hard-throwing righty Eduar Lopez (link). Both acquisitons are very minor in nature, and could prove to be all the surging Angels need in order to lock up a playoff spot of some sort. However, in my opinion, they need one more impact piece to improve their chances at the division title.
  • Some other news and notes from around the league: the Cole Hamels saga continues, as the Phillies want interested teams to submit their strongest offers by Wednesday (link). The Giants likely don't have the prospects to acquire him (link), while the Dodgers have prioritized Hamels (link), and the Astros still have very strong interest in the lefty (link); Mets reliever Jenry Mejia has been suspended for a whopping 162 games after failing a second test for performance enhancing drugs (link); the A's don't seem like they'll deal starter Jesse Chavez (link); the final piece headed to Colorado in the Troy Tulowitzki trade is young pitcher Jesus Tinoco (link).

Bernie's Daily Deal: Josh Reddick to the Chicago Cubs

So Billy Beane stated to the media that no players under team control beyond 2015 would be moved. However, just because he said it, doesn't mean it's true. If he did plan on dealing Reddick, he certainly wouldn't tell the media. So I think the possibility is very much alive. Reddick makes a lot of sense for the Cubs, as he is under control through 2016 at a position the Cubbies are relatively weak (outfield). The veteran could also fill a nice leadership role.

However, Reddick would be costly. Hitting has proven to be much more expensive on the trade market this year than pitching has, and Reddick is a good, young hitter with a season and a half of team control. Shortstop Starlin Castro is an interesting name, but I doubt the A's would pick him up, as he has been terrible in 2015 and his contract is a deterrent. Instead, a deal centered around outfielder Albert Almora and utility man Arismendy Alcantara could make some sense.

Almora, 21, is struggling in Double-A in 2015. However, he has great tools and a high ceiling, thanks to above average speed, defense, and contact. Alcantara, 23, is also having a bit of a rough time, but in Triple-A. Alcantara can play all over the diamond, and has shown a nice combination of power and speed in the past. However, that wouldn't be all. The A's could also acquire players such as Daniel Vogelbach, Mark Zagunis, and Ryan Williams. Vogelbach, a "first baseman" (likely a DH long-term), hasn't quite shown the power many would like. However, he definitely has a lot of pop in his massive frame, and he walks at a consistently high rate. Zagunis is a 22 year-old outfielder that is walking more than he strikes out in High-A, while also swiping some bags and showing a little power. Finally, Williams has been one of the better pitchers in the minor leagues this season, as the 23 year-old sinkerballer has dominated both Class-A and Double-A, throwing nothing but strikes and keeping the ball in the yard. Four of the guys listed above (or maybe even all five) would certainly be a fair return for Reddick.

That's all for today. The A's take on the Dodgers once more at 7:05 P.M. PST, as the Jesse Chavez and the A's lineup will have their work cut out for them against ace Clayton Kershaw. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!