The Oakland Athletics have confused fans a lot this offseason by trading away their best players, but things may be starting to clear up, as Billy Beane is known to spend every cent he can, and so far, it looks like he is. The A’s just acquired second baseman Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for John Jaso and two prospects. As Bob Nightengale of USAToday reported, Oakland will takes on $20 million in salaries to Zobrist and Escobar, while Tampa Bay will assume Jaso’s arbitration eligibility. In addition to contract statuses, according to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, the Rays will also receive cash from Athletics in deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 10, 2015
Zobrist, who is expected to become a free agent, adds value in his versatility, as he can play most positions on the field. The two-time All-Star hit .272 with 10 home runs and 52 RBI. the Illinois native is also in the last year of his contract, and is set to be a free agent at the conclusion of the season. He may be on the move in July however, if the Athletics are under-performing. Yunel Escobar has been the Rays starting shortstop the past two seasons. In 137 games last year, the infielder hit .258 with seven home runs and 39 RBI. The Athletics trade a shortstop, acquire one, trade one, acquire one, and now are trading for one. John Jaso started his career with Tampa, playing his first three years there. Jaso was used in a backup role primarily last year, playing in 99 games and hitting nine home runs to go along with 40 RBI.
The two prospects going to Tampa are reported to be top shortstop prospect Daniel Robertson and outfielder Boog Powell. Robertson had a nice year in high-A ball, hitting .310 with 15 home runs, 60 RBI, and 37 doubles. He would seem to fill in for Escobar in the near future. Powell was an All-Star in the Midwest League, and, after his promotion, was suspended 50 games for a banned substance. In 80 Minor League games, Powell hit .344 with a .453 OBP. Reactions to Trade:
So, the A’s traded Samardzija for Semien and then acquired 2 MIs to start over him? But he’ll still play plenty while Lawrie is hurt.
— Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot) January 10, 2015
From the Rays perspective: