The Oakland Athletics have closed on a deal to acquire Kansas City’s Homer Bailey, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that a trade was imminent. The Royals will receive minor-league infielder Kevin Merrell in return, according to an official Athletics release.
Bailey, 33, will go down as another bargain-bin acquisition for the playoff-hungry Athletics, who sit six games behind the first-place Astros, but currently slot in as the second Wild-Card team in the American League. Much like last season, when the team won 97 games and landed in the Wild Card game, the Athletics will hunt for affordable pitching help (which came in the form of Mike Fiers in 2018) to boost the club to back-to-back postseason berths. Rarely a team to make splash acquisitions, the A’s will likely remain on the periphery of the discussions surrounding marquee starters like Noah Syndergaard and Trevor Bauer. Of course, that doesn’t mean that value can’t be found elsewhere on the trade market.
Evidently, David Forst, Billy Beane and company believe that Bailey represents such a value. With the Dodgers, who acquired and immediately released Bailey in a December blockbuster with the Reds, paying the remainder of his hefty salary, the Royals snagged the veteran on a minor-league deal, meaning that the Athletics will only owe about $250K to Bailey.
Though he was maligned last season for his 1-14 record, Homer Bailey has shown some encouraging signs this year, and has posted his lowest ERA since 2014. He’s striking out 8.1 batters per nine innings, and home runs have come less often than last season. This isn’t an acquisition that can transform a pitching staff overnight, but Bailey will step in as a low-cost veteran who could pay dividends in the stretch run.
It’s been pitching that has concerned the Athletics all season, and many anticipated the team pursuing upgrades on the mound this summer. With a myriad of injuries preventing promising southpaws Sean Manaea, Jesus Luzardo, and A.J. Puk from contributing thus far, Oakland has had to patch together a makeshift rotation to carry them through the first half. Not to mention breakout star Frankie Montas, who won’t be eligible for postseason play after a PED suspension. And while the staff hasn’t plummeted to the bottom of the league—Mike Fiers, Brett Anderson, and Chris Bassitt have held their own—it’s hard to put much confidence in that group winning a playoff series, especially against the juggernauts of the American League.
Expect more to come from Oakland this trade season, especially on the pitching front. The front office, though garnering a reputation as frugal, can be aggressive when it senses a window for contention, and the club is in a good spot. Other veteran starters may still be in play, but it seems that with Bailey in the fold, the team’s focus will shift to the bullpen. The existing group has a solid track record between Liam Hendriks, Blake Treinen, and Lou Trivino, though consistency has been lacking in that department this season.
As for Kansas City, it seems unlikely that this is the last we’ll hear from Dayton Moore and the front office this July. The 32-61 Royals have been rumored to be open to trades involving just about anybody on the roster, with a few exceptions. Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier appear to be two cornerstones that the franchise is intent on keeping around, though a steep asking price for Whit Merrifield might make it difficult to pry him away from KC. Alex Gordon, meanwhile, may have redeemed some of his value with a renaissance season, but the veteran seems keen on playing out his career with the Royals, the franchise that drafted him.
That said, there are a number of Royals who could find themselves in different uniforms by the time the calendar turns to August, with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jake Diekman, and Jorge Soler perhaps the most realistic trade candidates. Diekman has apparently already attracted some interest from the Nationals, and other contending clubs could be drawn to Kennedy’s resurgence as a high-leverage reliever. Of course, in the cases of Kennedy and Duffy, the Royals would likely have to eat considerable portions of their remaining contracts to facilitate a trade.
Kevin Merrell, who heads to Kansas City in this swap, was a 2017 draft selection of the Athletics in Competitive Balance Round A. Ranked by MLB.com as the Athletics’ 17th-best prospect, Merrell is touted for his speed on the bases, with questions surrounding his bat. In general, his profile keeps with the Royals’ trend of acquiring speedy athletes, and Merrell, 23, has the potential to grow into a multi-positional depth role with Kansas City. With a crop of impressive young position players and an influx of college pitchers from the 2018 draft, the team may find its way out of the rebuilding phase quicker than anticipated.
Royals will receive $10
Just the fact that a pitcher has the name “Homer” is scary. But then again, Walker Buehler has a rough name for a pitcher and he’s great.
grant ballfour.. i mean balfour
I was thinking more of Homer from Ancient Greece who wrote the Odyssey
Or homer Simpson….
Got a pretty nice prospect in return .
Not his first name but I see where you went there
Actually the Royals DID get a pretty good prospect from Homer Baily. I was really just expecting garbage for garbage but a first rounder of the 2017 draft is nice.
All that he has going for him is that he is a former first round pick. Hasn’t shown much since being drafted. Has little value
Still… I’d think Homer Bailey would only garner “cash considerations” in return. So, an actual living, breathing player is a bit better. The fact that he was recently drafted in the first round makes it even better, no matter what his talent level is.
The Royals are sneaky good with trades. I feel like no one ever gives them credit for it either.
In 2017 he had an OPS of 1.033, not to shabby. The kid actually might have some upside.
It’s not like I’m saying he will be the next Cody Billenger or anything. Still, that is more than I would have expected for Homer Bailey.
He has been plagued by injures no doubt, but his first round draft status is hardly the only thing he has to show for. 2 no-hitters. Had two pretty respectable years in 12-13 for Cincy who was a playoff team or in contention. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the giant park.
Oh please! He’s a BUM! A no talent BUM!
Most “no hitters” have actually been thrown by BUMS, LOSERS and HAS BEEN who had one lucky day!
It’s something I’ve noticed since I was a kid a loong time ago, don’t believe me? well, than just go look it up!
When your BEST season was only 13-10, you aren’t that good at all!
When you’ve only had two seasons of sub 4.20 era out of 12, you suck!
Bailey IS an over rated, often injured bum and I just don’t get how teams have been wasting their time or dough on him!
One no hitter in a meaningless reg season game does not give a team world series trophy!
And I don’t get all the press over this trade, he really wasn’t throwing so great for K.C. and it’s not like he’s going to be a big winner in Oakland either!
Even when he’s healthy, which is rare, his stuff isn’t that good at all!
just a bus pass
Sources say the Royals will receive a free car wash coupon when they visit Oakland.
Free soda’s from the machine. David Justice will be jealous
LMAO! +1for that burn
Oh guess I was wrong. Minor league INF Kevin Merrell
LOL. A book of McDonalds coupons
The A’s take your Andrew Cashner and raise him one Homer Bailey
Brewers are still clearly the winners with Shelby Miller and Drew Smyly.
Brewers love that Rangers trash
most desperate move ever
desperate was taking Morales.
i mean they did need a first baseman when Olson went down
Morales stunk and the BJ were so happy somebody took him. At least Homer can start which the A’s need in the 5th slot.
Profar and Pinder could have covered 1B and one of the AAA bashers could have come up instead of having Morales be terrible for too long. Such a bad move.
Royals get 3 bags of BBQ chips
My favorite chips.
send some sunflower seeds too, salt and pepper
that would be an overpay. 3 bags of chips and only the salt from the seeds
don’t forget the bubble gum
That would be an overpay! Sunflower seeds are expensive these days!
I love BBQ chips
The A’s are such a terrible team
Well they have the second WC right now so no, not really
It will be sweet watching the A’s beat the overrated in a weak division Twins in the playoffs.
Not with fiers Bailey and Anderson
Funny how now that the twins have one good year all you twins fans think you’re just some amazing team. Your pitching still sucks you just have good enough hitting for the regular season. Just wait for the postseason, I wouldn’t be surprised if the A’s outlast you guys come October
Didn’t two of those guys throw great outings against you guys like a week ago?
This is for sure a toxic Yankees fan with the name tigers fan
Nah because they will get Bumgarner&Smith from the Giants.
A’s beat the twins 2 best pitchers just a little over a week ago. Please the Twins have 0 to brag about playing in a weak division. half a season to go and anything can happen.
Didn’t we just take 2 of 3 from the Twins? The Twins are not good. The rest of your division is terrible.
Hey buddy the twins are still leading the mlb in slugging, homers, and best of all average with .271 beat that brother
We did beat that 2 of 3 games just before the break, and it should have been a sweep, buddy. It’s not that impressive to beat up on many of the worst teams in the AL to inflate your #s. Twinkies better hope the Indians don’t catch them because they won’t have great odds in a WC playoff.
The As when 2 of 3 at home and all of a sudden an As fan thinks their pitching stinks and the team is overrated because they play in a weak division. Fortunately, facts don’t support your opinions. The Twins pitching is in the top 4-6 teams, depending on what metric you like. They don’t give up lot of HR and they don’t walk many. They are one of the best offensive teams in the league and hit for power without striking out much. Their record is better against the rest of baseball than against their weak division. The As beat a Twins team missing several key players. The Twins are young andmay not have staying power but they just beat the Indians 2 out of 3 on the road and I like their chances much better than an As team that is 6.5 games behind the Twins.
The Twins are a good team – jury is still out on whether or not they’ll be a great time this season. If not for a bad review on a play at the plate, it was a sweep in Oakland. That said, I’d be content with a split in Minnesota. A number of us were just responding to the jackass that suggested the A’s stink. Once we get our top 4 pitchers healthy (possibly Aug/Sept but more likely next season), this should be really a good match-up.. and it might even be one this year. They’re both good, young teams with power and pitching.
not for long!
so terrible they’ve already taken 2 of 3 from you guys?
Six games behind Houston in the West? I’d love to know your parameters for being “terrible.”
Oakland is the perfect destination for Bailey. A large ballpark with a coaching staff that has a long track history of coaxing value out of mediocre pitchers. It’s a low-risk move for the A’s that could pay dividends.
I agree. Good move for the A’s. Royals, eh. A roll player with upside, maybe? Lower payroll? Chance for a rookie? All the above.
Merrell has speed that will play in the majors.. nice solid contact rate too. Bit of bad luck in the minors. Good glove too.
I get the move but I much would have rather waited a couple weeks and see if the price could come down to a teenager
Why would you want a teenager? We’ve got plenty of those from our international signings. I like this trade. Double A Naturals will be continuing to get a lot of stolen bases. They’ve just added another weapon on the bases
I’m an A’s fan, that’s why
Wouldn’t have been a teenager anyone cared about. Probably weren’t going to get a teenager out of our top 30.
Plus Bailey is on a minimum contract. Dodgers are paying the millions for Reds contract. Moore was excited about Merrell in draft 2 years ago. But how many of these types do the Royals need? Not sure the rest of mlb values athletes without tools like Dayton.
Good deal for As with almost no cost. That environment suits Bailey. It’s a roll of the dice for the Royals.
its kinda disappointing they havent progressed between this year and last, but Bailey could end up being an acceptable 5th starter or managable BP option that is cheap enough to DFA if need be. They probably wolnt get a wild card, but they have a shot at least.
Not like the Twins are better.
Let’s see you assemble a team that does as well as Oakland has with their payroll!
I actually give ’em credit for being as good as they have been this year!
Not all teams are on equal ground when it comes to what they can spend, who they can afford to sign and who fills their 25 man roster, Billy Beane has done a great job, give em a break!
And it’s also nice to see the Giants finally start hitting and pitching once they hit the cellar hard!
8-2 over the last 10 is great for a last place squad, too bad their in the Dodgers division and don’t stand a chance at going anywhere. lol
And I’m very surprised that K.C. got anything better than a used and half empty Bic lighter for washed up, never was, too many Homers given up Bailey the bum!
That BUM pitches more like he should be playing in a Barnum & Bailey circus tent!
Was literally just thinking “Ha! Who would want him? Good luck with that…” then 10 seconds later I get the news that it’s the A’s. Smh.
Isn’t he as washed up as trash on a beach?
not as washed up as he was last year at least. credit there.
As an A’s fan, and this being a well-ahead of the deadline move.. #%*#!
On the plus side, he’s not Aaron Brooks, so that’s good
According to MLB channel they are only paying him $250,000 for the rest of the year how is that possible ????
his salery is the league minimum
*salary… and Homer isn’t worth even a stalk of Celery!
because the team that claimed him after he was released from the Reds only had to pay him minimum salary, that continues to the team he was traded to as well…
Released from Dodgers but yeah.
Minimum salary after being released by the Dodgers
Depending on what they gave for him it could be a good move. He’s actually been decent this year. A good back end of the rotation or swing man for a playoff run…but only if they got him pretty cheap.
Billy Beane will do what he does best flip him for a profit in December
He’s a free agent in November.
So Beane will sign him as a free agent that he becomes in november and instantly trade him?
That’s sounds more like what the Mariners general manager would do
No… no he’s not. Mengden is better.
why would a team give up anything for someone with the name Homer???? I’m going to eat the hair off my head
For the price not a bad pick up at all
For someone who has infinite actual reasons to dump on (ie he’s pitched terribly for several seasons now) it’s a little pathetic that like 20% of comments are about his name being “Homer” — like first of all he’s been in the league for a decade so it’s not like its a new thing to joke about – or some original LOL content…
“i hate when other people have fun!!!”
If rehashing a bunch of unfunny “jokes” is fun… go outside every now and then.
I get it now… Like Homer Simpson?
Actually Homer is a nickname. I think his real name is David.
Merrell was a FRP and #17 in our system, all to get a notoriously bad starter in a mini hot streak while paying the pre-deadline premium.
Not a fan of the move at all.
I actually really like this move. Barely gave up anything for him and I think his pitching style will play out well in the coliseum.
i think the A’s may have just got worse
He’s replacing Tanner Anderson in the rotation, so that would be an impressive thing if true
Tanner Anderson and Books were pray for 5 innings and still in the game starter.
And Anderson usually couldn’t even get 5 innings
Bailey’s been decent the last couple of months. And cheap.
Merrell was a first round pick in ’17. He was the A’s 17 best prospect. That’s really good for a pitcher like Bailey.
Bailey is talented only derailed by arm injuries. Let’s see where this is going for a extremely gifted A’s team…
Seems pretty fair to me. I remember Merrell getting lots of pre-draft love, and while Homer doesn’t give you much more than you’d get from a AAAA guy, he does have experience. And, as noted, has been more than OK lately. Good move on both sides.
Merrell is the A’s 17th ranked prospect. We’ll mark this trade as “questionable”, right behind the Rays trading Nick Solak yesterday
Was the A’s 17th-20 ranked prospect before this season. Which is pretty arbitrary. He had a sub .650 OPS in AA. The A’s probably think he’s nothing at this point. And I’m sure they do not consider him to be a top 20 org prospect at this point.
General lists don’t matter much to an organization, they have their own internal lists and Merrell may not have even been a top 5 shortstop to the A’s within their own system.
You know there is almost nothing good available at the trade deadline when you say “oh man, we missed out on Homer Bailey?”
A year ago Oakland picked up a bunch of left-for-dead pitchers and somehow they were effective. If they get the same out of Bailey they’ll need to give the pitching coach and bullpen coach a raise.
Is Beane trying to start up “Overpay Summer” with this? The 17th best in the org for 2.5 months of an extremely bad pitcher? Are they planning on using him out of the pen? Is there an injury about to be announced? WTF
And again you prove your personnel management isn’t all that good. Merrell was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He’s a year from being Rule 5 eligible, he’s not going anywhere with Mateo AND Neuse AND Barreto playing in Las Vegas (whenever Barreto returns to Vegas) and he’d end up ousted by Nick Allen whenever he gets back.
The A’s never shy away from sending a minor league player elsewhere if they’re firmly blocked and/or firmly blocking a better player. Now Merrell might get a chance to move up in the minors instead of sitting where he is for 2 years.
What in the world does that first sentence mean? “My” personnel management is fine – also I do not manage any teams, I’m just here to comment on trades and their values – you appear to be “bend over backwards to defend the A’s terrible ideas”. Weird.
Look, the A’s could have packaged Merrell as a piece for a guy who actually moves the needle, no one is arguing that, but to actually defend a Homer Bailey acquisition? Come on man, stop stanning your dumb FO so hard, they aren’t actually good anymore, they just make large volumes of moves and some pan out and some dont. This one is bad on paper. The end.
Kid has a .630 OPS in High A and Double A. He’s also not known for having a top notch glove. I don’t know what you thought this kid was going to help you bring back but it wasn’t much. It’s fine if you don’t like picking up Homer but Merrell’s value was extremely small. I’m sure he had more value to a team like KC who likes the slap hitter w speed type. Not many do.
Not sure if you’ve realized this yet but guys who hit 25% below league average in high A and double A often don’t make much of themselves in the big leagues.
We needed a pitcher now, and if we wanted to trade for Stroman (head case), Bumgarner (head case), Bauer, Syndergaard or Wheeler we would have had to overpay significantly for it. In that sense, giving up Kevin Merrell for Homer Bailey isn’t an overpay. Kevin Merrell isn’t in the A’s future plans, he wouldn’t have been a significant piece in a trade for the aforementioned “splash” starters, and now he has a chance to go somewhere and hopefully move up in the system. Merrell was trapped in Double A, and the A’s clearly don’t value him as highly as you do.
Disclaimer: MLB’s prospect rankings mean very little. Organizations value players differently, based on strength of in system depth and first hand information (work ethic, makeup, not just stats).
Is it the move a lot of people, including you, would have liked to see? No. Did it cost us a lot? Also no. Are we a better team now than we were yesterday? Yes.
I have realized it for decades. But sure, make assumptions about my history with the game. Look, I know things and I know players don’t always hit MLB by age 24 and become an immediate regular. People who take minor league stats from players who are clearly works in progresses are annoying.
The A’s could have easily brought up Daulton Jefferies and he’d put up equal or better results than Homer Bailey.
I have no idea where this “we need a SP now” narrative comes from nor do I understand how the discussion turned into how bad a player a 23 year old prospect is instead of a contending club acquiring an extremely bad player on purpose.
I don’t like Bailey but Jeffries barely pitched for 2 seasons. He ain’t helping the mlb roster till mid to late 2020 at the earliest
If you knew things you’d be working for an MLB front office right now instead of whining and looking dumb on the internet. Fact of the matter is you don’t work for a major league organization, you really don’t know all that much. You’re just another arm chair GM screaming that you know everything.
THAT is annoying.
S4 you might not be privy to this but MLB.com does not update their organizational prospects rankings. Nor is it currently including any draft picks from this year. At the beginning of the year they had him pegged as the #17 prospect (hardly a guarantee to even be a utility man at that ranking anyway) FG had him as a 40 FV player. I’m positive the A’s don’t have him as a top 20 org prospect or even close to that. He’s since posted a .630 OPS in AA. He’s probably a 50/50 shot to be a utility infielder at this point. They left a better SS in Richie Martin unprotected this spring.
That ranking is pretty much meaningless at this point. I’m sure he’s right outside of the A’s internal top 30 at the moment.
As a Royals fan I’m really liking this trade. I did not think we’d get a top 30 prospect for him. Instead we got a 2017 first round pick that is already in AA. Per fangraphs he has an 80 grade run tool, and while he hasn’t shown any power his contact numbers are pretty solid. Not likely to be a big time contributor, but for half of a season of Bailey, I like it.
Royals love little slap hitters with speed. Merrell has plus plus speed. Fits in w org philosophy for sure. He’s likely a utility man (or less)but getting anything with a hint of upside for Bailey is a win.
Over at baseballtradevalues.com, we had Bailey’s value at $1.5M and Merrell at $1.4M. So we feel like we nailed this one.
I feel you might not see that you were off by 0.1, do you just hold yourself to low standards if thats “nailing” it? Interesting…
You’re right, being off by 0.1 is a terrible miss.
S4 you sound like a complete idiot right here.
Even more than the guy patting himself on the back? Wow!
Sorry, don’t mean to come across as back-patting, although I know it can seem so. I do think there’s value in the actual information.
all the time?
Ecstatic for this return. Don’t know anything about this guy other than what I can see on his baseball reference page, but any top 30 prospect for Homer Bailey is a win.
Former 1st round pick. Royals did well
Former 1st round pick that hasn’t performed well in the minors. He’s got future super-utility player written all over him. Not a bad return considering you didn’t spend much for Homer Bailey to begin with.
Homer Bailey is a former 1st round pick also. Just being a former 1st round pick means nothing. Besides he wasn’t a real 1st round pick, he was a compensatory pick after the 1st round.
Yeah that. Austin Beck was our actual first round pick in 2017. Merrell was a pick up guy at #33.
Homer Bailey was a very solid starter for a few years in Cincy that just couldn’t stay healthy. Even so he’s been a major league starter for 14 years which ain’t nothing. He’s bad now, but not an argument for “1st round doesn’t mean you’re good.” He’s a guy we signed to flip just like this and fringe MLB utility prospect with elite speed is WAY more than I expected to get for him when we signed it.
Merrell just had nowhere to go. He was expendable with Nick Allen coming back and expecting to take all the shortstop time at Double A and nowhere for Merrell to go in Triple A. It was best for everyone.
Indeed. The A’s have a glut of players in the minors with an identical profile, and many of them are already at a higher level. They need pitching now, not a minor leaguer who won’t factor in until at least next year and probably later.
Nice rotation piece for not a lot spent.
Mercy! All this for a #5 starter traded for a (potential) utility guy? Can’t wait till the Sox trade Mookie for Refsnyder….
Bailey’s gotta be happy…a FA 5th starter on the Royals gets a minor league deal this winter…a FA 5th starter on a playoff team (especially if they go deep, not impossible) probably gets a year for 2M….and that’s if he doesn’t improve….any progression, and he turns into a “shrewd pickup”…..
Bailey gets 3 starts before the July 31st deadline and is on a bit of a hot streak. If the A’s want to be more aggressive, they still have that ability. Gives both Puk, Manea, & Luzardo time to rebound. For a team that’s gotten solid production out of Chris Bassit in their rotation, they deserve the benefit of the doubt on these types of moves. Even if on the surface they strike us as being cheap money wise.
The Homer Baileys and Edwin Jacksons of the world are fine acquisitions, so long as the recipients are aware that they’re acquiring Homer Bailey or Edwin Jackson.
Edwin Jackson was okay last year, and it turns out the A’s were really smart to wait a long time before giving him a minor league contract this year.
I hated the Merrell pick so bad , 1 tool with 80 speed , supposedly above average arm but no power, doesn’t walk, hasn’t hit much in pro ball. 80 speed but doesn’t steal bases, don’t know what’s the deal. A’s can’t waste draft picks on medicore college infielders, so annoying. Maybe someone will take Mikey white too in next deal, another college infielder disaster from 2015 draft too, add to Richie Martin rule 5 nonsense
Mikey White at least has patience at the plate. Not much power for a first baseman, but you could chalk that up to Midland being a hard place to hit. He likely goes as a lottery ticket or something and they send Rivas to Double A. More potential there with Rivas than White, definitely.
But yeah, draft picks in general are a crap shoot. They either develop or they don’t, no matter what round they get taken in. Look at the Astros, for example. They had three #1 overall picks and 2 of those guys haven’t seen major league time.
Not bad return actually. Defiantly a player who would fit the royals system.
Well, here’s the thing. The Royals have not won a single game since this trade, while the As are undefeated in the same time frame. Coincidence???
I’m surprised Oakland didn’t a prospect in return for taking Bailey off of KC’s roster!
Homer bailey has been an up and down pitcher I mean he was good with the reds and then he left the reds to the dodgers and etc. and logically just didn’t click at all, and then went to royals and found himself again, but it’s just not been a great for a guy named homer bailey in the past
WTF are you talking bout?
Didn’t “click” with the Dodgers?
Hate to inform you of this, but he NEVER even pitched for them!
L.A. RELEASED him the minute they got him in the trade, they didn’t need or want Homer Bailey, they DID want they other guys they picked up in that deal and than the Royals picked him up for the LEAGUE MINIMUM off the scrap heap, used him for a couple months and than dumped him for some questionable minor league kid who couldn’t catch a cold in Antarctica!
Do your homework before you type, son!