May 21, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Tommy Milone (57) is taken out of the game by manager Bob Melvin (6) during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Wants Out: Milone Requests Trade

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Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Tommy Milone wants off the Rivercats and out of the A’s organization for good. Milone lost his job after the A’s made the blockbuster trade that landed Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, despite pitching very well before his demotion.

Normally I think this sort of complaining is unnecessary, this was a business decision that had to do with the team’s ability to easily option Milone to the minors rather than exposing a player to waivers. However, in Tommy’s defense, this is his third demotion in a calendar year and he had been doing very well before he got sent back to Sacramento.

On the other hand, Tommy Milone is a soft-tossing lefty who’s 3.55 ERA sits almost a full run under his FIP (4.43) and xFIP (4.51). He doesn’t strike out a ton of guys and his fastball velocity sits under 87 mph. He’s a reliable, back of the rotation innings eater; but on a competitive team like the Athletics, that turns him into a fringe roster guy.

As for what the team could expect in return for Milone, I’m not sure. Certainly pitchers who stay healthy and absorb innings the way Tommy does have value, and he’ll be a reasonably priced option wherever he plays. It’s hard to say if his wanting to leave will lower the A’s leverage in any deal, but I think the team will hold on to him disgruntled or not.

Unseen in all this is that a big part of Milone’s success in the majors comes from the Coliseum and the A’s defense at home. At home he’s had an ERA of 2.74 this year versus 4.40 away. And it’s not a statistical aberration either; in both 2012 and 2013 he posted an ERA better than a run lower when he pitched at home versus pitching away. So Tommy Milone might want out of Oakland, but I think he would struggle finding the same level of success anywhere else.

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