Fautino De Los Santos Sent to Brewers for Kottaras
Yesterday I figured the piece sent to Milwaukee in return for backstop George Kottaras would be minimal. The man being sent to the Brewers is Fautino De Los Santos who I would not have thought of as minimal, but who has clearly fallen substantially in the minds of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s brass. De Los Santos was frequently talked of as a future closer for the A’s until he struggled earlier this year (going just three innings) and was demoted to Sacramento where has been since and put up a 7.25 ERA which belies his 3.03 FIP based upon 10.8 K/9, 4.0 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9 in 36 innings. While, one might say a 7.25 ERA and 3.03 FIP are indicative of a pitcher suffering bad luck, and while there are some who believe BABIP to be more a product of luck than of skill, De Los Santos’ .423 BABIP and 57.6% strand rate are such low numbers that he has to be leaving hittable balls out there, that is just an inexcusably high number to solely be the cause of poor luck.
I’m sad to see De Los Santos go, even though it is assured Kottaras would be scooped up were he to be placed on waivers, and even though I think Kottaras represents a very smart and strong upgrade for the A’s offense as they look to continue to fight for a playoff birth, he just seems a bit too steep given his upside. In his A’s career De Los Santos will finish with a total of 40 appearances, going 36 1/3 innings of 4.21 ERA, 3.58 FIP baseball with an electric 11.4 K/9, 5.0 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9.
Both of them being on the 40-man roster means no moves are required in that respect though there is a 25-man roster move that must be completed Monday when Kottaras joins the club. While it seems like Derek Norris is an obvious candidate to be returned to Sacramento (he is hitting .205/.275/.342 with a .278 wOBA and 74 wRC+ in his 80 plate appearances) rumors continue to swirl around Kurt Suzuki and it is clear that he is no longer in the future plans of the A’s like Norris is, so he could be moved too. Last night Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel did allege that the,
“#Brewers trade of C George Kottaras to Oakland might not be announced [yesterday]. Apparently waiting for A’s to do another move first.”
And while that did not come to fruition, it just seems too likely that the A’s could seek to move Suzuki, giving them some payroll flexibility to make another move and improve the left side of their infield (particularly shortstop as they appear pleased with Brandon Inge at third base despite the limited offensive returns). We shall see what transpires with under 72 hours left before the non-waiver trade deadline.