The Royals and Athletics have agreed to a four-player swap. Left-hander Ryan Buchter and first base/DH-type Brandon Moss will head to Oakland in the deal, while right-hander Jesse Hahn and minor-league righty Heath Fillmyer are ticketed for Kansas City. The Royals also included $3.25MM in cash as part of the deal. Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com was first with the news.
Though Moss is certainly the biggest name of the four, Buchter is actually the prize for the Athletics in this deal. In fact, the inclusion of Moss in the deal is probably more related to financial implications. Indeed, Royals GM Dayton Moore told Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star that “The economic part of it is very real to us,” which has in turn led to some speculation throughout the industry that the Royals are attempting to clear salary in order to make re-signing Eric Hosmer more feasible. Moore responded to an inquiry from Flanagan on the subject, telling him that it would be “inappropriate” for him to comment on a free agent right now. However, he did add that he’s been “very clear” about what the team’s thoughts are on Hosmer.
Turning away from speculation and rumors and focusing on the here-and-now of the deal, the A’s will fill a bullpen need by getting a much-needed lefty. Prior to this trade, the only southpaw reliever in their projected bullpen was Daniel Coulombe. Buchter will serve as a long-term piece for the budding A’s (perhaps into their next window of contention), as he’s under team control through the end of the 2021 season. The Royals, meanwhile, will add a new potential candidate to their rotation. Per Moore’s conversation with Dodd, Hahn will compete during spring training for a spot in Kansas City’s rotation.
Buchter’s a rare type of pitcher who’s been able to consistently out-perform his peripheral statistics. The soon-to-be 31-year-old has a career 2.85 ERA against a 4.68 xFIP. The latter statistic normalizes a pitcher’s homer/fly ball ratio as a method of estimating a pitcher’s true run-prevention skills, but it doesn’t account for the fact that many of Buchter’s fly balls are actually infield pop-ups, which go for outs nearly 100% of the time. Over the past two seasons combined, Buchter’s 16.7% infield fly ball rate (IFFB) ranks 10th in the majors among qualified relievers. He also ranks 14th during that span with a 26% soft contact rate against.
Buchter is even tougher against lefties, limiting them to a .160/.255/.306 batting line during his MLB career. The late-blooming Buchter spent a whopping eight seasons in the minors before finally making his debut with the Braves in 2014, and was shuffled through the Triple-A affiliates of the Dodgers and Cubs before finally latching on in the majors with the Padres in 2016. Interestingly, the A’s were reportedly competing with the Padres for his services as a MiLB free agent.
As for Moss, 34, he’ll return to the team with which he broke out in 2012. That’s just about the only clarity surrounding his presence in Oakland, however. Athletics GM David Forst has already told him that it’s not clear how he fits on the roster (per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). With young phenom Matt Olson earmarked for the first base job and Khris Davis likely to assume full-time DH duties, the declining Moss doesn’t have a clear path to everyday at-bats. His sub-replacement-level 2017 performance (.207/.279/.428) was a far cry from his peak years in Oakland during which he slugged 76 homers and put up a .844 OPS across 1,381 plate appearances.
Hahn’s had a roller coaster career. The right-hander showed great promise early on, posting a 3.07 ERA and 3.59 xFIP across 12 starts following his major-league debut with the Padres in 2014. Prior to the 2015 season, he was shipped to Oakland in the Derek Norris trade, and continued to impress with a 3.35 ERA and 52.6% ground ball rate through the first day of July. However, a flexor tendon injury sidelined him for the rest of the season, and although he’s shown flashes of brilliance since, he’s not yet been able to maintain good numbers over the course of a full season. Hahn’s posted a 5.59 ERA with a 6.05 K/9 and 3.57 BB/9 across 23 games (22 starts) across the past two years while battling a number of injuries.
Fillmyer, 23, started 29 games for Oakland’s Double-A affiliate last season while pitching to a 3.49 ERA. MLB Pipeline considered him to be the team’s 18th-best prospect in 2017, noting his quick arm and a fastball that can reach 96MPH with good sinking action. Though his control and command took a step backwards last season, their report suggests that he can become a back-end starter at the MLB level. Fillmyer was selected by the A’s in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Nah that’s the Blake Griffin trade today.
Woops! Wrong sport!
Royals made room to resign someone
I agree. I would like to see moose resigned instead of Hosmer just based on his recent production as a royals fan.
“Recent production” seems like an odd reason to choose Moose over Hosmer since Hosmer is coming off the better season.
Overall cost? Now that’s a real reason to think Moose over Hoz is a better choice if you had to sign one.
Kayrall, this is why you’re one of my favorite posters here.
This made me legitimately lol. Well done, good sir
Thank you ^
A’s got their lefty, don’t think Moss stays around too long.
So you’re saying Moss won’t gather any moss?
maybe he will, but I could see the A’s paying his salary and moving him on, Moss on $2M is a nice buy for a team looking to stack the bench or COF depth.
This also means Renato Nunez is either DFA or traded.
It’s about $4~ million with the $1M 2019 buyout.
I think he does. Give him a Johnny Gomes-like role where he can pinch hit, play some defense, get some starts and tally up about 250-300 PAs.
Is that worth $4m? I think it is if we’re talking Moss. If it doesn’t work out and he doesn’t rake in his chances, then move on if necessary.
Only interesting thing is underrated ryan butcher good games on a sample setting
The deal that now makes it easier for the Royals to have Hosmer return.
I like this
The stove is HOOOTTTT
Like this move for KC, Hahn is a good arm and didn’t really get a shot in Oakland. If Oakland is taking on most of the Moss contract makes it more likely Hosmer will get resigned
This does seem like a prelude to Hosmer’s return.
More like clearing the way for the just announced Escobar reunion. He’ll be the only souvenir of the World Series days. It’s another 30 year rebuild for KC! See ya in 2045!
Yeah now Esky can play 1B
Oakland is only eating $4M. $4M in 2018 won’t make much difference when Hosmer has already been offered $120M+ by KC and SD. It’s more likely offsetting the $2.5M guarantee to Escobar that can top out at……..$4M.
if 120 is on table he would already be signed,
Hahn got plenty of chances for Oakland, inconsistency is the name of his game
… which stemmed from injuries (?)
He seemed to get banished to the minors for months every time he had one bad outing.
A’s get Buchter for a AAAA starter in Hahn and a top 20 prospect in their system (though he projects to be a #4/5 at best). I think Fillimeyer is a solid prospect haul for the Royals here, considering Moss is overpaid and Buchter doesnt have an extensive track record for success.
Moss is here to compete with Mark Canha for the backup 1B/LF/RF/DH role. Maybe coming back to Oakland will get his groove back.. I dont mind him as a flyer. Looks like a nice win/win trade for both squads.
Pretty sure Olson will be playing 100% of the innings at 1B this season, unless he goes on the DL. 1B is not an area where they need depth, Olson is good to go. They don’t need a specialty 1B backup, a warm body like Pinder will do. Piscotty and Maxwell have experience at 1B too, in case Olson is out. Canha and Moss probably won’t see much time in Oakland, if at all.
Love the rebuilt pen, but I think this pushes Coulombe to AAA, because he’s the only guy left with an option. Treinen and Pagan aren’t getting sent down, Coulombe is the only guy who can be sent down.
Dull could too
Yep, Dull has options left, and that’s been a consideration. We could also trade salaries with the Dodgers and send Nunez over with Casilla for Grandal.
Dull is currently not on the MLB staff, which is now:
Treinen (2 options)
Coulombe (1) / Butcher
Until Alcantara is officially moved, Dull will never make the team unless there’s injuries. Dull also is not very good.
Hatcher and Raul suck too same with casilla I think Dull is better than all 3
Gonna have to stop you here for a second. Dull put up a 3.58 ERA and minuscule 0.874 WHIP in 74IP in 2016 and his FIP was encouraging. Not at all bad.
See I don’t see how you make that trade as a Dodger FO. You’re not even shedding 3M AAV and your obtaining a Def limited player when there’s already Segedin. It’s probably not even enough for a legitimate backup C. There’d have to be more there it seems.
Yes please on Grandal!
I agree, Dull looked terrific in-person in 2016, to my eyes better than 3.58.
The more and more I think about it that’d be a terrible trade for the Dodgers with Segedin, Rios, Beaty, and Farmer all probably seeing corners at AAA. It’s not even a salary dump. At that point they are probably better off just holding.
Just a thought for the Dodgers to move salary if they want to go after Darvish. They want to stay under the luxury tax, and need about $10M. They don’t have to take Casilla, I just don’t want him on the team anymore.
Personally I’m hoping we banish him to the shadow realm so we can give someone else that bullpen spot.
Haha then I completely respect your opinion as an A’s fan lol. I think the problem with the Dodgers is that Grandal is making ~8M, so in need of backup C the net savings isn’t too significant. So in order to save some money a smaller contract would probably have to be involved. So a guy like Ryu & Grandal would probably have to be packaged or in separate trades, to make a little dent.
They still could use a corner outfield backup. Assuming Fowler is starting in CF, and considering our pursuit of Austin Jackson, we’re still looking for help in the OF, though more likely someone who plays CF too. But with Canha, Smolinski, and Boog Powell already competing for the job, I’d imagine Moss is right there with them.
I’d be worried about giving Olson all those innings too. He’s had close to 600 PAs for the past 4 years straight.. don’t want to burn the guy out. And I heard before we were looking into trading Liam Hendricks, so very possible Buchter and Coulombe stay on the roster.
The pursuit for Austin Jackson was before Dustin Fowler was cleared to play in February. We’ll have 5 outfielders on the roster with Davis, Joyce, Fowler, Piscotty and Moss and Pinder will get reps somewhere out there while Davis mostly DH’s. Maybe Moss is a bench bat while occasionally DHing and filling at 1B.
“I’d be worried about giving Olson all those innings too. He’s had close to 600 PAs for the past 4 years straight.. don’t want to burn the guy out.”
You’re one of those “never let anyone play everyday” types, aren’t you? Olson is 24 in 2018, if he doesn’t play 155+ games then something has gone very wrong, and the A’s are definitely finishing in last place.
Thanks and Brett Phillips to KC for Duffy
Or Thames. Damn auto correct.
Neither of those OF the Brewers have left are worth trading for. Certainly not Duffy.
Thames at 1b, Broxton in CF? $15M off the books for a dude dealing with alcohol issues. Or Phillips with 6 years control.
Oh, the takes on this one and its potential ramifications from a few Padres commenters are gonna be HAAWWWT!
Buchter is a really solid pickup. I didn’t think he was going to last the winter in KC
“OK, you can have Ryan Buchter, on one condition…”
A’s looking more and more like a complete team.
Have you seen that rotation though? Definitely bottom third in the league
That rotation could also be solid. Graveman and Manaea both ended the season well, and Triggs was rolling before he required hip surgery. One of Mengden, Blackburn, Cotton and Bassitt will complete the rotation. If they stay healthy it isn’t the worst thing in the world, and that’s with guys like Holmes, Shore and Puk as quality depth.
Mengden was the best pitcher in baseball in the last two weeks of regular season. A really really nice guy, too.
Yeah if you totally forget about the catcher position, the outfield, and the starting rotation.
Outfield is set, catcher is still half a question mark and the rotation is what it is. It’s ????? right now, and if you add a mediocre starting pitcher it’s still ?????.
Oakland has a pretty good outfield with Piscotty Powell/fowler and Joyce/Pinder definitely middle of the pack
The Fireman is back.
Not really into this one for Oakland. Buchter had a FIP of 4.54 last season but had shiny run prevention numbers thanks to an unsustainable strand rate. Steamer actually projects him at a 4.70 ERA for next year (which seems high IMO, but he’s not as good as his last two seasons would indicate). Hahn’s a 5th or 6th SP realistically, but that kind of player has some semblance of value, and Fillmyer is a pretty close to the majors potential back-end guy. I think it’s a good haul for KC for the players they gave up.
Butcher’s stuff will play up in Oakland, who have marvelous defenders at a lot of positions now. They needed a lefty who can K a ton of guys, and Butcher is that. Hahn had attitude problems and needed a change of scenery.
Buchter. Pronounced BUCK-ter.
What attitude problems did Hahn have? As an A’s fan I hadn’t heard of any issue before – consistency problems sure but attitude? Do you have evidence to back this up?
I’ll never figure out why the Braves got rid of Ryan Buchter when he showed a lot of promise in 2014. All he’s done is appear in 139 games and post a 2.85 ERA and a fWAR of 2.7.
so saving 5 million can free you up to spend how many millions on Hosmer?
interesting how Buchthers strikeout and walk rates both dropped off significantly when he went from SD to KC.
…. trying to clear salary to sign Hos?? Why do they need to clear salary?! Who else is signing him to a better contract?? It isnt like he should be getting more than the current offers!
Padres Armchair GM
Hopefully hosmer goes back to KC and we can end the hosmer to padres rumors
It looks like Jesse Hahn got hurt somehow in 2015 and didn’t play the rest of the season that year. When he came back in 16 he was a lot more hittable. Anyone know what the injury was?
Strained right forearm I believe
Hard to understand why A’s would take Moss. Pay $5 million for over the hill guy they don’t need. Buchter okay.
Good deal from Royals perspective, regardless of whether they bring Hosmer back. Better to pay Hoz $20 million than Moss 8.25 million. And without Hoz, opens up PA’s for young guys, not 34 year old Moss.
It’s a shame the Athletics aren’t one of the competitive teams in the AL.
The Padres and Athletics line up nicely as trade partners with surplus that each is looking for.
I could definitely see a Brad Hand, Franchy Cordero (CF), Jose Pirela (LF) trade involving Puk, Mateo, and Holmes.
I know the Athletics would love a long term CF like Cordero, Pirela could play 2B or LF, and Hand would anchor the pen the next 4 years at a price the Athletics could afford while the Padres pick up another arm in Puk and Holmes plus their ss in mateo.
You’re not getting Puk or Mateo. Holmes is a hard maybe, but very unlikely.
Lol Mateo wouldn’t have gotten you Hand before the extension. Now his trade value is even higher. Puk might have been probably too much of an ask before the extension but now it’s not at all past reality. You’re not getting a reliever that good signed for that long for that cheap for less elsewhere.
That’s irrelevant. You’re not prying Puk and Mateo away from the A’s. The A’s aren’t in a situation where trading big prospects for a guy like Hand makes sense for them, and Puk and Mateo, until I see otherwise, are firmly part of the A’s future strategy.
Padres Armchair GM
“It’s a shame the Athletics aren’t one of the competitive teams in the AL.”
Literally the 1st sentence written lol.
Seems more like a what if type idea than an actual trade proposal.
I don’t disagree there. A’s and Padres should both be trying to add to, not subtract from, their farm systems at this point.
Although to be fair, Hand comes with enough club control that a team like the A’s who will be good in maybe a year or two trading for him wouldn’t be that weird.
Then we spend both prospects and money on a guy that could flop before our window even opens. Pitchers are volatile. Relief pitchers are even more volatile. If I’m the A’s I’m not comfortable spending that many resources on a relief pitcher until I’m sure we’re going to be competing for a playoff spot.
He won’t provide us with that many more wins for how much we’d have to give up to get him from the Padres. I expect another team that needs a solid left handed reliever THIS YEAR to go after him when they need to, but we’re not that team.
And as I’ve said, so many of our prospects fit into the team’s short and long term plans. I doubt Billy wants a repeat of 2014. He probably wants to go the sustainable route.
I enjoy how you are proposing the A’s should trade for Brad Hand, a left-handed relief pitcher, in the comment section of an article about the A’s acquiring a left-handed relief pitcher.
As good as Hand has been the last two seasons, I would rather give up Hahn and the #18 prospect, for 5 cheap years of buchter (whose elite infield fly rate could become amazing playing in the coliseum), than the deal you proposed.
Buchter fills the gap created in the Doolittle trade very nicely.
I don’t understand why the A’s never spend money to keep their players. If they did, the A’s probably would be up there with the Yankees and Cardinals as far as championships. It’s very sad to see.
Because the A’s don’t make money. Tickets are cheap, we don’t sell a lot of them, merchandise sales aren’t high, our TV deal doesn’t make up the difference and we have few sponsors.
That’s the importance of a new ballpark, and even then they haven’t just given in and built a new stadium in one of the parking lots next to the Coliseum. Sources of revenue are just as important to the operation as a new ballpark. They go hand in hand. Injecting into the payroll now or at any point in the past would have been a dead end investment. Walter Haas Jr. learned that the hard way. Even when our attendance was in the 3 million tickets sold range it wasn’t enough to break even during declining years.
It’s baffling that people can say stuff like A’s should spend and keep their players and can themselves fans of baseball. Probably the same people that don’t understand their team won’t go over the 197 mil Lux tax. Their fans of baseball but they don’t understand how the business of baseball or how to build a baseball team.
I think it honestly surprises people to know that even billionaires can make bad investments. Any amount of money you put into something that doesn’t net a return is still a bad investment, no matter how much money you’re perceived to have.
If the A’s aren’t “Up there with the Yankees … as far as championships” then neither are the Cardinals.
Great proofreading on this story.Zahdi isn’t with the A’s anymore.He’s the Dodgers GM.
That’s what I was thinking but I didn’t know if he switched this off-season
Fantastic journalism. When is Zahdi the GM of the As? Did he get traded by the Dodgers to go under the luxury tax cap?
Susan went for a quote, and Farhan, ever the professional, quietly delivered.
Fine with this for the Royals, but we’re lacking middle relief now. Still smarting from giving away Alexander to the dodgers. DM giving away relievers to get rid of bad signings.
Good deal for the A’s. A’s dint overpay for a good lefty. Hopefuly Buchter works out for them. Hes almost 31. As for Moss hes best years have come in a A’s player. Ive always watched the A’s games since im able to see them. I dint like when they traded Cespedes a couple years back for more pitching. He was the heart of their lineup. Hahn will most likely be better of as a reliever as he has good pitch repertoire.