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A’s Acquire Parrino and Werner from the Padres

November 16, 2012

The A’s and Padres completed a trade this morning with Oakland shipping right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross and MiLB first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones to San Diego in exchange for infielder Andy Parrino and left-handed pitcher Andrew Werner.

Ross was someone who frustrated me more than most players on this club and this season he could do no right in a season where at times it seemed the A’s could do no wrong. This year in his 73 1/3 innings of work Ross pitched to a 6.50 ERA, with a similarly miserable 4.80 FIP miraculously accumulating 0.3 WAR. He was hit exceptionally hard with a .360 BABIP and hitter teed off to a .327/.407/.463 slash line against the lanky hurler. All the while Ross had some other ugly peripherals with 5.7 K/9, a high 4.5 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9. Ross just hadn’t been the same at the MLB level following an oblique injury in 2011 that cut short a season in which he had through 36 innings pitched to a 2.75 ERA and 3.14 FIP. For his Athletics career, the Berkeley native drafted in the second round of the 2008 amateur draft, threw 148 2/3 innings of 6.2 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 baseball for a 5.33 ERA and 4.26 FIP. He had perhaps the ugliest pitching motion in baseball with a short stride that many felt was largely responsible for his checkered health record. He will not be particularly missed and it was unclear where he fit with the 2013 A’s as many people leapfrogged him the depth chart this past season.

Kirby-Jones meanwhile was an undersized first base prospect selected in the ninth round of the 2010 draft out of Tennessee Tech. I got to see Kirby-Jones play quite a bit with the Ports this year as they toured Southern California and he was nothing noteworthy from what I could see. When he was drafted he was noted for his power and plate discipline which has been true of his thus far short minor-league tenure as in 1,195 plate appearances across three seasons spent at Vancouver, Burlington and Stockton respectively, the now 24-year old Jones has put together an impressive .384 OBP and has 48 home runs, to go with a .248/.384/.448 slash line though his high BB% (17.0%) is shared with a high K% (26.0%). The A’s don’t have a ton of long-term options at first base though Chris Carter and Brandon Moss are looking more viable as options, but it never really seemed Kirby-Jones was in the A’s future plans as a potential starter at first.

Now who did the A’s acquire? Two pretty lackluster players by the looks of it. Parrino who a few weeks ago turned 27, has been a solid MiLB hitter to the tune of a career .272/.372/.406 slash line in 2,282 plate appearances since being drafted by the Pads in the 26th round back in 2007. This minor league “above-averagedness” has not translated in his limited MLB experience as in 79 games and 193 plate appearances with San Diego Parrino has hit .200/.319/.256 with a .253 wOBA and 62 wRC+ for a grand total of 0.4 WAR. The WAR seems oddly slanted care of very strong fielding stats in limited action in 2011 giving him 0.4 WAR that season as in 2012 he hit to a career high .207/.316/.276 giving him 0.0 WAR in 138 plate appearances with the Padres. From what John Sickels of Minor League Ball wrote about Parrino last spring, he reminds me of another acquisition from the Padres, Eric Sogard. Sickels writes,

“Parrino is a very skilled defender at second base, not bad at shortstop and third, and can even take a turn in the outfield if you need him. Given the short benches used by most teams these days, Parrino’s ability to play multiple positions, take some walks, and provide occasional pop should keep him employed for awhile.”

With the lack of shortstop options presently for the A’s, Parrino is probably a lot higher on the depth chart than he’d be with most clubs. If Adam Rosales is non-tendered he could find himself the leading candidate to assume shortstop duties for the A’s, though I anticipate by the time spring training rolls around that situation will have changed.

The other acquisition in the deal was Werner a lefty who made his MLB debut in 2012 with San Diego starting eight games and going 40 1/3 innings of 7.8 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 baseball for an ERA of 5.58 and an FIP of 4.09 to total 0.3 WAR. Werner who was an undrafted free-agent, started 2012 in San Antonio with the Missions of the Texas League before graduating to Tucson and then the big league club. In the minors he combined for 126 1/3 innings of 3.70 ERA baseball with 7.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9. Werner seems like a really good person to have in the organization with so many young arms that might be shuttled around between Oakland and Sacramento should someone falter. Both Parrino and Werner were added to the 40-man roster.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2012 11:30 pm

    I’m bummed the Padres gave up on Werner. They brought him up out of nowhere last year and he started off pretty hot. Teams made adjustments and he struggled in his later starts, but he’s young, and I think he’ll rebound. He got thrown into the fire because the Friar starters got banged up early on, and I don’t think they wanted to start a “real prospect’s” experience clock in a season where they weren’t going anywhere.

    Parrino IS a great defender, but couldn’t hit a lick. Seems like a scrappy guy, and getting out of Petco Park might help, but the Coliseum is a big place too.

    I’m a Padres fan who found the link to your blog on baseball-reference, trying to figure out who Ross and Kirby-Jones are. Seems like a pretty unimpressive move for both teams.

    Love the blog name.

    • November 17, 2012 12:04 pm

      Hey Marcus –

      Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting. Werner does look intriguing to me, far more so than Parrino who seems the perfect type of player for National League baseball but perhaps less so for American League play. He seems interesting just because versatility, especially with low-revenue clubs is a benefit but the stick clearly isn’t there and defensive subs aren’t an AL type move. While the A’s succeeded in 2012 in no short part due to their defensive capability, this would be doubling down on a sketchy strategy. As you noted, the Coliseum isn’t favorable to hitters either so I don’t imagine Oakland being much an escape from Petco.

      Ross does have potential, the question is whether or not he can stay healthy. This year he was an absolute mess whereas last year he was a pleasant surprise. I just don’t seem him being consistent and see his best case scenario being maybe a #4 starter type with a most likely him being a swingman type to make spot starts and save your bullpen in blowouts. Kirby-Jones just doesn’t do much for me, he is a short first baseman who just doesn’t seem like he is destined for big things.

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