Boy, one trade goes down, and the floodgates suddenly break open.
Minutes after the Jay Bruce to New York deal was reported, another big deal was reached. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports was the first to report that the Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick and starting pitcher Rich Hill will be making the trip down Interstate 5, as the Athletics have traded both players to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s a little surprising that the Dodgers would surrender such a lucrative package for a pair of rentals, but it makes sense given their needs. Los Angeles’ pitching staff has been riddled with injuries this year, as Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Alex Wood are currently on the disabled list. The final straw came yesterday, after Bud Norris went down with an injury.
Hill, 36, has been fantastic this season. His stint with Oakland currently stands as the eighth team he’s played for in his career. The late-blooming southpaw sports a 9-3 record with a 2.25 ERA this season, although he’s dealt with the injury bug over the past two months or so. At the present moment, Hill’s working on a $6 million contract that will expire at the end of the season. It’s unclear if the Dodgers plan on working with Hill on an extension.
Reddick, 29, continues to put out solid production. On the year, the corner outfielder is hitting .296/.368/.449 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 68 games. Reddick got a late start to the season, as he missed an extended period of time due to a strained oblique suffered in spring training. He has also taken up shop twice on the disabled list, once for re-straining his oblique, while the other was because of a fractured thumb. Reddick comes to L.A. working on a $6.575 million salary for this season. His deal is also up at the end of the season, although it’s unclear if the Dodgers intend to discuss an extension with him or not.
Oakland was able to secure a solid package of young pitching, an area that has been sorely lacking for them in the past. In exchange for the pair of rentals, the A’s acquired three of the Dodgers’ top 15 prospects, according to MLBPipeline. More specifically, they will receive the Dodgers’ numbers five (Holmes), eight (Montas), and 13 (Cotton) prospects.
Holmes, 20, has been touted as a mid-rotation starter, although some have questioned whether he’s got the size to hold up under a starter’s workload. In three minor league seasons, Holmes is 16-11 with a 3.61 ERA in 257 innings of work. He possesses a solid three-pitch repertoire, consisting of a fastball that hovers around the low-to-mid 90’s, a solid breaking ball, and an average change-up. His two best pitches are said to be the fastball and his breaker.
Montas, 23, is an object of opinion. Some scouts peg him as a future starter, while others believe he’s better suited for a role in the bullpen. His 255-pound frame has caused some concern for scouts, also. Montas has a 16-25 career record in the minors, with a 3.79 ERA. His lack of consistency remains a major issue.
Cotton, 24, was one of the older prospects in the Dodgers farm system. For his career, he owns a 23-24 record with a solid 3.77 ERA in 408.2 innings of work. He currently rates as the Dodgers 13th-best prospect, and scouts project him as a reliever with possible mid-rotation potential. Scouts cite his size and mechanics as possible issues in his journey to becoming a starter.
With approximately two hours to go until the deadline, the Dodgers have created some flexibility with this move. They managed to fill their two glaring needs in one move, early enough that they could still pull off another move. Outfielder Yasiel Puig has been the subject of rumors lately, with ESPN’s Buster Olney linking him to the Chicago White Sox (via Twitter).
Get ready guys, it’s gonna be a crazy sprint to the finish.