The Oakland Athletics have acquired Chris Young from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Cliff Pennington and Yordy Cabrera, who was immediately shipped to the Miami Marlins in exchange for reliever Heath Bell. The Diamondbacks also receive cash considerations from the Marlins.
The Athletics have set themselves up nicely to feature an excellent defensive outfield in 2013 with Yoenis Cespedes likely to stay in left, Young in center and Josh Reddick in right. Young looked like “Matt Kemp on a budget” early in 2012 before suffering a shoulder contusion midway through April. He never really got back to where he was offensively, finishing the season roughly around his career averages at .231/.311/.434.
Young will earn $8.5 million next season, with an $11 million club option looming for the 2014 season. This is a very Oakland Athletics acquisition.
Despite acquiring the least recognizable name of the four players who were swapped, the Marlins make the most obvious gains in today’s trade, even if it’s a matter of addition by subtraction. In cutting ties with Heath Bell, the Marlins are no longer on the hook for all of the $21 million owed to him through 2014 or the 2015 vesting option that would kick in if he made 55 appearances in the final year of the deal. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have agreed to cover $8 million of Bell’s remaining contract. Bell struggled famously in 2012 after arriving in Miami via free agency, finishing the season as a middle reliever and posting some ugly numbers: 5.09 ERA; 3.72 FIP; 4.02 xFIP and eight blown saves.
The Diamondbacks picked up closer J.J. Putz’s option on earlier on Saturday, effectively extinguishing any chance of Bell assuming the role before they actually acquired him.
Cabrera was selected in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft out of Lakeland, Florida. He spent 2012 in high-A ball with the Stockton Ports, appearing 60 games and posting a .232/.293/.332 triple slash line to go along with three home runs and nine doubles.
Pennington moved to second base with the Athletics after the club acquired Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks. Drew’s two-year deal signed with the Diamondbacks in 2010 holds a mutual option for 2013 worth $10 million. He could still be in the Athletics plans, especially considering the decision to ship Pennington today.
The Athletics and Marlins look like instant winners in this deal. The former pick up a great defensive outfielder with decent offensive upside, while the latter rid themselves of a significant portion of a terrible contract. The Diamondbacks, although acquiring some financial assistance along with Bell’s final two years, have pulled off a bit of a head scratcher considering the return of Putz and David Hernandez holding down late inning work just fine.