Well this week we saw the Toronto Blue Jays and the Arizona Diamondbacks agree on the blockbuster of all blockbuster trades not seen since… August when the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers struck their deal. Well, today the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres struck their own deal, but this deal is a blockbuster in the bankrupt Blockbuster Video sense. The Tyson Ross era in Oakland has come to a close as the A’s sent the tall right hander and minor league infielder A.J. Kirby-Jones to the Padres for lefty starter Andrew Werner and utility infielder Andy Parrino.
On the surface this really seems like a change of scenery type move, as Ross had always struggled in Oakland. Over 3 partial seasons in Oakland, as a starter and in the bullpen, Ross posted a 5.33 ERA over 148.2 innings. He made 21 starts over that time, often in situations where the A’s had exhausted almost all other options. Ross always seemed like a good teammate, and he’s a local guy so it’s really too bad it didn’t work out in Oakland. It was obvious though that he would never find any real success with the A’s, so a move to pitcher friendly (Although somewhat less so in 2013 and beyond due to the fences being moved in) Petco Park can only help his career. He’ll join his younger brother Joe in the Padres organization, so without a doubt that has to be a silver lining for Ross.
A.J. Kirby-Jones was an intriguing fringe prospect for the A’s, seemed to show some signs of being able to hit in the lower minors with a .248/.382/.461 line with the Stockton Ports, going deep 21 times. Chances are he’ll wind up in Double A San Antonio for the Padres in 2013.
On the receiving end, Andy Parrino played primarily shortstop for the Padres last season, he made appearances at 2B, 3B, and even a cameo in RF. His numbers will jump off the page, but for all the wrong reasons. His .207/.316/.276 line wreaks of Eric Sogard and Adam Rosales. The knee jerk reaction to this deal is that Billy Beane was serious about bottom feeding, and this is going to be our starting shortstop in 2013. I have a really hard time believing that. Assistant GM David Forst told Susan Slusser that Parrino will be in the conversation for the starting gig, but personally that seems like an executive saying the right thing and talking up a new acquisition. If the A’s want to seriously contend for the division once again, Andy Parrino simply cannot be the Opening Day shortstop.
Andrew Werner falls under the “throws left, has pulse” category. He made 8 starts for the Padres last season, and posted a 2-3 record with a 5.58 ERA. But as the 2012 season clearly demonstrated, you can never have too much pitching. Werner will in all likelihood take over the organizational role that Tyson Ross filled, and he may find himself wearing out the I-80 corridor between Oakland and Sacramento throughout the season.
This is a minor deal in all aspects, none of these players are expected to have major impacts on their teams next year. Sometimes perhaps GMs just make a deal for the sake of making a deal. Hopefully Ross figures it out in San Diego, and maybe someone down there can iron out that horrific hitch in his delivery.
The 2012 season was the year of Brandon in Oakland, perhaps 2013 will be the year of Andrew.