The Oakland Athletics and the Cleveland Indians have agreed to a deal that would send Brandon Moss to the Indians in return for 2B Joe Wendle reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. ESPN’s Buster Olney was the first to report the two sides were close. The two sides were reportedly discussing Moss as early as last week, but talks were reportedly picking back up with the start of the Winter Meetings.
Moss, 30, would make a strong 1st base or Right Field platoon partner for the Indians as he posted a .228/.328/.441 slash line against right handed pitching with 21 of his 25 home runs in 2014.
Wendle, 24, was a 2012 6th round pick by the Indians and spent 2014 split between rookie ball and AA where he put together a .265/.326/.425 campagin across both levels.
The move would make a great deal of sense for the Indians who were rumored to be interested in a power bat. Moss will be costly in his second year through arbitration which pays big for power.
With the trade now announced, the Athletics have now traded away their top three home run hitters (Donaldosn, Moss and Cespedes) from 2014 within the last 5 months.
Wendle is a fairly week return for Moss in my opinion. With the market for power so dry I would have expected to see a higher quality prospect headed back to Oakland.
Joe Wendle is a second baseman who reached AA this past season. He has a career .292/.357/.471 slash line in the minor leagues. MLB.com ranked him as the 9th best Cleveland Indians prospect in its most recent prospect ratings.
The Indians acquire a power left-handed bat in Brandon Moss, who is coming off hip surgery and has two years of arbitration years left.
The A’s are trying to replenish their farm system, which was weakened significantly by the Jeff Samardzija trade this past summer. The Indians are getting more aggressive and attempting to augment the team’s offense with the goal of making it back to the playoffs. Joe Wendle’s development will determine the long-term winner of this trade.
While this return may seem light for Brandon Moss, he is coming off a fairly significant hip surgery. This health concern is legitimate. Also Moss will make somewhere in the range of 16-20 million the next two years depending on his performance this upcoming year. So Moss will become more expensive and has some red flags even though he is a 31 year old who has .504 slugging percentage the last three years.