The Oakland A’s traded away yet another star on Sunday, this time sending pitcher Sean Manaea to the Padres for a pair of prospects.
As if that wasn’t a tough enough blow for A’s fans this morning, fate coincided to turn the bummer up a notch.
You see, Manaea had already been scheduled to start this afternoon. And Oakland was hosting none other than San Diego. So with his new team on the way to the stadium anyway, he simply switched uniforms and pitched for the Padres, against the A’s.
“The Padres told [Manaea] not to bother leaving Mesa this morning. They’ll just meet him there,” reports MLB insider A.J. Cassavell.
The trade was officially announced at 8:45 a.m. PT, and the game was set to begin at 1:05 p.m., just over four hours later. Manaea suited up, though his green glove wasn’t quite a match for his new threads.
No time for a glove switch yet but looks like the cleats translate. https://t.co/BI9E9WBRbA— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 3, 2022
He got a chance to visit his old teammates one more time before pitching against them.
Sean Manaea saying hello to some former teammates pic.twitter.com/a3bJ5BLRzp— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 3, 2022
The game began, and A’s fans watched that familiar weirdness of our guy wearing a different jersey.
Manaea retired Tony Kemp to start the game pic.twitter.com/riFduspnYJ— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) April 3, 2022
During the broadcast, A’s manager Mark Kotsay spoke about what Manaea meant to the team and the clubhouse, calling him “the heart and soul of the staff the last few years.”
A's manager Mark Kotsay discusses Sean Manaea's impact on the organization pic.twitter.com/IbOCXLR8wp— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 3, 2022
The lefty’s new manager won’t need any introduction, as Manaea will be reunited with Bob Melvin in San Diego, the only skipper he’s ever played for in the majors. Melvin left the A’s after last season to join the Padres.
Midway through the 4th inning this afternoon, Manaea had gotten his work in for the day, and Melvin came out to the mound to pull him for a reliever. The southpaw received an ovation from A’s fans.
A's fans in Mesa give Manaea a nice ovation after BoMel takes him out of the game pic.twitter.com/ER8k507Vl0— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) April 3, 2022
It was hard enough to say goodbye to Manaea today, without immediately having to watch him play against the A’s four hours later. It was only an exhibition game so it doesn’t matter in the sense of the standings, and perhaps enjoying one final spring day at the park with him softened the blow as much as anything, but it was still a very 2022 A’s thing to happen.
It’s gonna be a long summer in Oakland.