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Elephant Rumblings: Former Athletic Kevin Smith signs with Yankees

MLB news roundup

Oakland Athletics v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

The Athletics’ return package for former third baseman Matt Chapman didn’t look great at the time of the trade, and the past two seasons have only reinforced the perception that the front office completely missed on most of the returning players.

In exchange for one of the better third baseman in the league, the club brought back four players: infielder Kevin Smith, right-hander Gunnar Hoglund, and lefties Kirby Snead and Zach Logue. The club obviously went for quantity over quality with the package, but the club still believed it could hit one at least one of these guys.

Instead, here we are two years later without much of anything to show for what now feels like giving away Chapman to the Blue Jays. The top prospect in the return package was at the time thought to be Hoglund. Once considered an elite prospect, injuries have derailed what was once a promising career. He’s only pitched in 17 (!) professional innings, eight last year and nine this year. And when he has made it to the mound, it hasn’t been to great results. He’s still around in the minors right now but it would be shocking to see him become a contributor to the next A’s playoff team.

The left-handlers haven’t had much of a better time with the A’s, either. Logue made a handful of starts for the A’s in 2022 but after being designated for assignment he’s no longer with the team. He hasn’t turned things around for his new team, the Detroit Tigers, as his struggles in Triple-A continue. The other lefty, Snead, has had arguably the best performance for the Athletics but that’s not saying much. This past season he dealt with a shoulder injury but at least made it back for a few appearances. If he’s healthy then he’ll likely get a spot in the bullpen.

And then there’s Kevin Smith. The club gave the second-best prospect coming back every chance in the big leagues. The glove was solid, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen someone look so lost at the plate in the big leagues. And it was extra frustrating because Smith would tear up Triple-A pitching, especially this past year. It just wasn’t enough for the club to retain Smith, and he hit free agency.

And today, he found his landing spot for the 2024 season. The New York native is going home, as he announced himself on X:

So with Smith and Logue gone, the club only has two more players left from the Chapman deal to hopefully salvage some sort of value from that awful trade. But don’t hold your breath. Sigh.

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