Padres Trade Targets: Could Brandon Moss Head South?
By Billy Brost
In a story from Cleveland.com, writer Paul Hoynes reports that Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane is back at it again. Less than a week after unloading MVP finalist Josh Donaldson in what appears to be a personality clash move, and talking to various teams about pitcher Jeff Samardzija, the Indians and A’s are talking deal for first baseman Brandon Moss. Should the Padres and A.J. Preller jump in and try to snatch the power-hitting first baseman for themselves?
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It appears the A’s and Beane are looking to once again retool with young middle infield and pitching prospect–something the Padres have a plethora of, and should be willing to deal based on their need to upgrade the offense. Moss will never win a batting title, but his power stroke it legit. In 500 at-bats in 2014, Moss only hit .234, but mashed 25 bombs and drove in 81–while playing his home games at the spacious Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.
Moss would be a certain upgrade over the inconsistent and underperforming Yonder Alonso. The team missed out on free agents Billy Butler and Adam LaRoche, the latter having interest from the Padres, the former now being a member of the A’s, thus making Moss expendable. Perhaps a deal of Gabriel Quintana and Burch Smith gets it done. While Moss is a valid power threat, he’s far from an elite hitter at the big league level, and I can’t see the Padres giving up an elite anything for him.
Quintana could eventually replace the traded Donaldson, and Smith could develop into another of a long line of solid Oakland pitching prospects. If Beane pushed for more, throw in minor league shortstop prospect Frenchy Cordero. Beane likes his middle infielders, and to give up a third baseman, a shortstop and a pitcher from your farm’s top 20, would be more than acceptable for Moss.
The Padres minor league system is ranked sixth best in baseball and will only improve with Preller’s fingerprint on the program. They can provide better prospects to Oakland, who just so happens to be one of the Padres’ most popular trade partners in recent years. Moss is arbitration eligible, and will certainly get a raise, but he is under team control until the 2016/2017 winter, when he is first eligible for free agency. If I’m Preller and I’m shopping for a power bat, this deal is a no-brainer.