The Oakland Athletics have acquired outfielder Kyle Blanks from the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Jake Goebbert and a player to be named later or cash, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported. The Athletics have been interested in acquiring Blanks for awhile, but this week those talks intensified before getting a deal done today.
The 27-year-old Blanks might just need a change of scenery to get his career going. After being drafted by the Padres in the 42nd round of the 2004 Draft, Blanks crushed his way through the minor-leagues, totaling over 200 bases in both 2007 and 2008. Baseball America rated him as the 50th best prospect in the Majors prior to the 2009 season, as Blanks seemed to be on the fast track to the Padres. He was called up that season and posted a 137 OPS+ in 54 games (172 plate appearances), homering 10 times and driving in 22. Since that time, injuries have haunted Blanks. He has posted a 90 OPS+ in 185 games (634 plate appearances), homering 18 times and driving in 76. Over his Major League career, Blanks has a .228/.310/.401 triple-slash line.
Athletics' GM Billy Beane liked Blanks because he's a right-handed bat that can play both the corner outfield and fist base. “He is exactly what we were looking for,” said Beane, “and there’s not many out there.” Beane also liked Blanks’ good minor league career, noting that “it looked like he was going to be that guy in the majors until injuries derailed him.”
In return, the Padres will be receiving outfielder Jake Goebbert. He was picked in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, and has yet to break into the Major Leagues. He was flipped to the Athletics on April 4 of last year for left-hander Travis Blackley. Goebbert had some solid seasons in 2010 and 2011, totaling 231 and 211 bases and hitting .291 and .290, respectively. He had another good year in 2013, hitting a triple-slash line of .262/.354/.474 with 22 home runs and 84 RBI at Triple-A. Goebbert has spent most of his minor league career at right and left field.