Sam Moll came into the season looking like a key piece of the Oakland Athletics’ bullpen. He pitched well enough that they were able to flip him to the Cincinnati Reds at the deadline for prospect Joe Boyle.
The A’s acquired Moll from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for cash considerations on July 2, 2021. Oakland traded him to Cincinnati at the deadline in exchange for right-hander Joe Boyle.
What were the expectations?
Coming off of a good 2022 season, Moll was expected to be the A’s top left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Moll appeared in 45 games for the A’s before the trade and posted a 4.54 ERA in 37 2⁄3 innings. His 3.23 FIP though suggested that he had been better than his surface numbers. The Reds took a chance on that and were rewarded as Moll allowed just two earned runs in 25 games and 24 2⁄3 innings pitched over the remainder of the season. Moll was particularly tough on lefties who hit just .161/.217/.241 with a .206 wOBA over the full season.
What went right? What went wrong?
Moll was good for the A’s and even better for the Reds following the trade. The A’s acquired Joe Boyle in the deal and he is currently their No. 21 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Boyle has big time strikeout stuff, but has struggled with his control during his professional career. He put up good numbers at Las Vegas after the trade and made three starts for the A’s where he posted a 1.69 ERA and a 3.13 FIP over 16 innings. Moll helped the Reds, who were chasing a playoff spot, while Boyle could be part of the future with the A’s. A rare win/win for both sides.
Moll will turn 32 in January, but won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2024 season. He figures to again play a big part in the Reds’ bullpen next season.