Two Small Local Moves
Earlier this week the San Francisco Giants signed free agent outfielder Tyler Colvin, and today the Oakland A’s traded a player to be named later or cash for jack-of-all-trades infielder Jake Elmore. I like the A’s move better.
Colvin is former first round draft pick, who hit well for the Cubs in 2010 (.816 OPS) and the Rockies in in 2012 (.858 OPS). However, in 2011 and 2013, he didn’t hit at all at the major league level (.509 and .472 OPS, respectively).
At best, I would expect Colvin to hit like Nate Schierholtz did when he was a Giant, and Colvin’s right field defense isn’t as good. Wrigley and Coors Fields are among the very best hitters’ parks in MLB, while AT&T Park is one of the worst.
There is also a concern about Colvin’s health. He had reached a deal on a contract amount with the Orioles, but the team nixed the deal after Colvin’s physical. The O’s may well have been over-reacting, but there must have been something that caused their concern.
Colvin has a big platoon differential, so he could be useful batting almost exclusively against right-handed pitching, if he remains healthy. Colvin is currently 28 years old.
Jake Elmore has done much less to date than Colvin at the major league level, but I think he’s likely to do more in the future. He’s a classic money ball player, with a career minor league on-base percentage of .387, including a fantastic .442 OBP at AAA Reno in 2012 and .382 OBP at AAA Oklahoma City in 2013, and he has the ability to play every position on the diamond. His best defensive position is probably second base.
Elmore has batted only .223/.290/.298 in 209 career major league plate appearances, but he will be 27 in 2014, the age at which players as a group tend to peak. He now has enough major league experience under his belt that he could turn out to be an extremely useful player for the A’s in 2014 and perhaps the next couple of seasons thereafter.