BHC Insider: Are The Chicago White Sox And Oakland A’s Talking Trade?
I was in Stockton last night to see the Stockton Ports, advance single-A affiliate for the Oakland A’s, take on the San Jose Giants, advance single-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. I went to the game because SF Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is currently rehabbing from his broken hand and was with the SJ Giants making a rehab start. The Ports also had a promising, young starting pitcher going for them as well. His name is Michael Ynoa, a 6′ 7″, 210 pound, 21 year old, who signed with the A’s at the age of 16 years old in 2008 from the Dominican Republic. Ynoa is currently ranked 5th on MLB.com’s top 20 organization list for the A’s and was also a member of the World Team in this year’s Futures Game that was playing during the All-Star break.
While the pitching match-up was enough to peek my interest, apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. I was told that Chicago White Sox Executive Vice-President, Kenny Williams, was also in attendance at the game and apparently may have been there to scout Ynoa. Rumors surfaced yesterday that the A’s are one of many teams that have expressed interest in White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy, and if I’m putting to-and-to together, my thinking is that if these talks are real, a deal could be put together centered around Ynoa going to the White Sox for Peavy.
Ynoa, by the way, pitched well in the game, carrying a no-hitter into the 6th inning before giving up a hit. He was then promptly pulled from the game, if you want to add to the conspiracy theory. He throws hard, running his fastball between 91-94 MPH, but has trouble controlling it at times. His offspeed pitches are average at best and needs work. But with a guy that tall, his mechanics are going to be off and hard to repeat. It’s correctable, just takes time, which is what the White Sox will have with him if they do acquire him since they aren’t to compete anytime soon. Again, he’s only 21 years old and the talent is there if developed properly.
From the A’s perspective, I find the A’s interest in Peavy quite puzzling to be honest. The A’s have one of the best, if not the best, starting pitching staffs in all of baseball with Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, and Dan Straily. Overall, they are 5th in ERA (3.60), 3rd in Quality Starts (62), 1st in WHIP (1.18), and 4th in batting average against (BAA) (.242). Acquiring Peavy, I’m assuming here, would delegate one of the back-end starters, I’m guessing either Straily or Milone, to the bullpen to work as the long arm. Or, they could be preparing for a Colon suspension from the Biogenesis scandal, but I would think since Colon already serviced his suspension last year, that the concern with him wouldn’t be as great. And Peavy, while having an 8-4 W-L record and a 1.14 WHIP, does have a 4.28 ERA and only 76 K’s. He’s 32 years old and signed thru 2014 with a player option of $15 million for 2015. Not sure who would be picking up the remaining portion of his $14.5 million he’s owed this year, but that’s a lot of coin remaining for a 30+ veteran pitcher who has trouble staying healthy.
I don’t question the A’s for looking to the White Sox for adding another piece to their team, I just think Peavy is that wrong piece. If I were the A’s, I would be inquiring about shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Ramirez would be the perfect fit for the A’s; adding him to the top of their batting order and defensively having him play shortstop and moving current A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie to second base. The A’s all season have been trying to solve the one gapping hole they have on their team., second base. Current second baseman Eric Sogard is hitting just .263/.329/.702, with 32 R’s, 17 2B’s, 2 HR’s, 17 RBI’s. He’s been playing solid defensively, but moving Lowrie to second would immediately boost the offensive production the A’s have been seeking from that position for the better part of this 2013 season.
Another possibility could be White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, but his contract is way too steep for the A’s to afford, even if the White Sox agree to pick up a portion of his remaining contract. Plus, the A’s already have a crowded outfield as it is.
For what it’s worth, this may all be smoke-and -mirrors and much ado about nothing, and I just wasted a good 800+ words on a trade rumor that may never develop or come to fruition. But with 5 days left until the MLB trading deadline, I find it very interesting that on the same day rumors come out that the A’s were interested in Peavy, that I just happen to be at a game were the White Sox’s Executive VP is at, scouting one of the A’s top pitching prospects. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.