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A’s Steal Luke Gregerson from Padres

December 3, 2013

Don’t know if there are even more deals to be made, but the A’s made their third trade in the last 24 hours hooking up with the San Diego Padres to send them outfielder Seth Smith in exchange for righty reliever Luke Gregerson. Last deadline, I suggested the A’s send Michael Choice and a prospect (or Jerry Blevins) to the Padres for Gregerson and Joe Thatcher, today I sort of got that as the A’s got Gregerson and dealt Choice. This specific trade however: wow. A steal.

In Gregerson the A’s get a righty who has appeared in 363 games since his debut in 2009. Going in his age 30 year, he has put together a 9.1 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9 in his 347 innings of work for a 2.88 ERA and inline with that 2.94 FIP. He is a groundball guy (47.7%) and has 139 shutdowns to 60 meltdowns in his career mostly comprised of being a set up man. Originally drafted by St. Louis he came to San Diego as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Khalil Greene to Missouri. Only three relievers have thrown more innings since Gregerson entered the league in 2009 (Tyler Clippard, Edward Mujica and Matt Belisle). Among relievers who have thrown more than 200 innings since 2009, Gregerson’s 4.7 WAR rank 20th (out of 108) and his FIP 16th. He is a workhorse who delivers quality innings. With this the A’s bullpen is just loaded with options that their already strong starting pitching only need to give five to six strong innings a night.

To get Gregerson the A’s gave up Smith. While I like Smith and think he is a good ballplayer he clearly preferred hitting in the friendly confines of Coors Field (as a Rockie – doesn’t it seem like it should be Rocky? – he hit .275/.348/.485 compared to the .246/.331/.406 slash line he managed as an Athletic) than at sea level in Oakland. In two seasons with Oakland he was worth 2.3 WAR, clubbing just 22 home runs in 851 trips to the plate, slightly above league average with a 105 wRC+. Most recently in 2013, Bob Melvin found him 410 plate appearances during which he hit .253/.329/.391 with eight home runs for 1.1 WAR.

Great deal for the A’s! Rumor has it the next to be dealt with be Brett Anderson, it’ll be interesting to see where they can go from there. I’d love to see Oakland upgrade at second base, leaving Alberto Callaspo free to be dealt for maybe some organizational depth? It’d seem Detroit would have a need for a third baseman at this juncture, though Callaspo would be solid insurance should Josh Donaldson not be able to repeat his breakout (a likely possibility).

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