The 114th Annual MLB Winter Meetings are set to take place December 6-10, 2015 in Nashville. This is the time of years we major deals go down and some of the remaining top free agents sign contracts with teams. Executives from all 30 teams will be present, most ready to make deals.
The Oakland Athletics were very active during the meetings in 2014 making a total of 9 deals. This year Oakland will look to shore up it’s league worst bullpen. There are 2 slots they need to fill and there are a couple of good options in Ryan Madson and Joakim Soria of which Oakland could land one of these guys.
The Athletics will likely continue to shop Brett Lawrie and Danny Valencia. One of these players are expendable with the re-acquisition of Jed Lowrie. Lawrie is likely the one to be moved as he can bring a higher return than Valencia.
With the Winter Meetings upon us it is time for GMs to do some Christmas shopping for their teams.
The Oakland Athletics have a track record for making a splash at the Winter Meetings and this year is no exception. The Athletics traded 2014 All-Star Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians for their No. 9 Prospect, second baseman, Joey Wendle. This move comes nearly 2 weeks after All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie and a couple of top pitching prospects.
Brandon Moss is a power bat who hit .231 with 25 home runs in 2014 for the Athletics. The 2014 season was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type season for Moss. Before the All-Star break Moss was batting .261 with 21 home runs in 89 games. After the break Moss retreated batting .173 with only 4 home runs in his final 58 games. Moss regained his confidence just in time for the Wild Card game, where he provided most of the Athletics offense in that game blasting 2 home runs and driving in 5 run. However it wasn’t enough for the playoff run to continue.
Joey Wendle will likely start the season with Triple A, Nashville Sounds and could easily make the 25-man roster by mid-season. Wendle hit .253 with 8 home runs in 87 games for the Arkon RubberDucks (AA) in 2014 before being sidelined with a broken bone in his wrist. In 2013 Wendle was named a Post Season All-Star with the Carolina Mudcats as well as a MiLB Organization All-Star for the Indians.
Joey Wendle appears to be the long term answer for the second base needs of the Oakland Athletics.
Here is the list of the Top 20 Prospects of Oakland Athletics as compiled by MLB.com. To be eligible for the list the player must have rookie eligibility. Players cannot exceed 130 at bats or 50 innings pitches with a Major League club. Also the player cannot be on the active roster for more than 45 days during the 25 player limit period.
1. Addison Russell
2. Michael Ynoa
3. Renato Nunez
4, Daniel Robertson
5. Matthew Olson
6. Raul Alcantara
7. Billy McKinney
8. Miles Head
9. Nolan Sanburn
10. B.J. Boyd
11. Arnold Leon
12. Drew Granier
13. Dillon Overton
14. Vicmal De La Cruz
15. Max Muncy
16. Anthony Aliotti
17. Blake Hasebrock
18. Chad Pinder
19. Dylan Covey
20. Bruce Maxwell
After the Winter Meetings and trades made by the Athletics organization this is how the Top 20 Prospect list shapes up. Off the list are #2 Prospect Michael Choice and #17 Prospect Chris Bostick who were both traded to the Texas Rangers for Chris Gentry. Back on the list is Catcher Bruce Maxwell and new to the list is Dylan Covey who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Draft.
After a self-imposed hiatus I am pleased to announce that the Elephant Farm is back. We have a lot to cover, so it is my hope that over the next few weeks we can get caught up. There were moves-a-plenty during the Winter Meetings, today the Hall of Fame announcements were made and in just a few shorts weeks pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training camps. We will also revisit the revamped Top 20 Prospect list. I have a lot planned so let’s hope we can get caught up before baseball resumes to full action in the Spring.