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A’s Acquire Stephen Drew

August 21, 2012

The A’s acquired shortstop Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks late last night in exchange for shortstop prospect Sean Jamieson. This move was much rumored before the trade deadline and comes to fruition about three weeks later. The A’s will pay the remainder of Drew’s 2012 salary and will be responsible for the $1.35M buyout on the mutual option he has for 2013, it has already been stated by assistant GM David Forst that the A’s have yet to make a decision on the option and will wait until season’s end. The 29 year old Drew, has hit just .193/.290/.311 this year in 155 at bats as he recovered from missing a lot of time via injury. So far he has been worth -0.1 WAR, while posting a .265 wOBA and 56 wRC+. He has walked at a healthy 12.3% BB% clip and despite his struggles at the plate this year, he has as recently as 2010 been a five win player when he posted 5.1 WAR.

I have to assume that Drew will supplant Cliff Pennington as the everyday shortstop as his ceiling is much higher and the A’s surely will want to see what they have prior to making a decision regarding the option – though it is entirely possible, though I think unlikely given the falling of his stock that Drew would decline the option at this point.

The player the A’s relinquished reflects the reduced value in Drew these days as Jamieson is not really a highly rated prospect and has spent 2012 in Burlington playing shortstop for the Bees. The Canisus College alum, has 542 plate appearances this year posting a .234/.345/.379 with 10 dingers, having a .342 wOBA and 112 wRC+. He has featured a 12.2% BB% and has a 17.0% K% which are decent numbers.

Gotta like the move, the A’s don’t give up much and pick up a player with upside to fill a clear weakness on the roster. There is some concern that Drew potentially could be just another Pennington given his performance thus far this season and that the A’s while not giving up much, are likewise getting not much in return. I’d like to think Drew can exceed Pennington and the Brandon Hicks/Adam Rosales/Eric Sogard contributions and be a decent addition, but more than anything it is nice to see the A’s addressing a point of concern late in the season. Psychologically for fans this is a great move, and with little risk hopefully an opportunity for a lot of reward.

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