Coming off the heels of negotiating the rights to add Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma to the A’s mighty pitching staff, management has taken another small leap forward by trading pitchers Vin Mazarro and class A prospect Justin Marks for Royals Outfielder David DeJesus. This may be an intentional trade in their confidence to make a deal with Iwakuma to join the team, especially in trading right-hander Mazarro who according to San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Susan Slusser, was considered to be the amongst the A’s top pitching prospects just two years ago.
DeJesus, who will be making $6 million in the 2011 season and has the option of becoming a free agent in 2012, will be joining the team with a career batting average of .289. On top of that, he recorderd this years best average, swinging the lumber at .318 with five home runs and 37 RBI’s in 91 games with the Royals. He unfortunately missed the last two months of play due to an injury to his right thumb. He will be set to return post surgery without medical constraints when the 2011 season rolls around. Now, I have to wonder with DeJesus joining the line-up, will this make the team a fighting contender for the playoffs? John Ortiz from the Daily Pitch says, “The veteran left-handed hitter probably won’t fill Oakland’s desperate need for power – his career best in homers is 13, in 2009 – but he’ll team up with Coco Crisp and Ryan Sweeney to form one of the top defensive outfields in the majors.”
Meanwhile, Mazzarro, who was set to become the a fifth starter with the A’s and who led the AL with a 3.58 ERA last season, will be leaving with a record 5-2 and a 2.84 ERA in his first nine starts. He finished out the 2010 season 0-6 with a 5.60 before being traded. Apparently, Mazzaro was expecting this to come down, but not as quickly as he thought. Although, he is supposedly in good spirits about the deal saying that “I think this is a good thing for me and my future” Mazzarro may be right on the money by going to the Royals. They are coming off of the league’s highest ERA at 4.97. Mazzarro will add to a rotation that has not been as even keeled as other teams within the AL. None of its starters finished below 4.10. Justin Marks will also leave the team with a 6-13 record and a 4.87 ERA in 25 games and 24 starts. The minor league lefty spent the 2010 season with the both Kane County and Stockton, the A’s Single-A affiliates.
With this new trade on the books, one question needs to be answered. Where does this leave A’s 2009 Organizational Player of the Year OF Chris Carter? He is described as the best power hitter in the outfield and was called up to Oakland during the tail end of the 2010 season with a 0-3 in his first game over the Mariners, and snapping his 0-33 streak with a single in sixth inning play against the Whitesox. Joe Stiglich from the Oakland Tribune says that Carter could slide to the designated hitter spot if management decided to let Jack Cust walk. Whether they indeed do that remains to be unseen. For now though, it seems that the A’s are continuing to throw caution to the wind while they slowly pick and choose who they want to add to their possible play-off winning roster.