The Cleveland Indians have acquired outfielder and first baseman Brandon Moss from the Oakland Athletics for second base prospect Joe Wendle, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports first reported.
The Indians trade for Moss had been in the works now since last week. The deal appeared to fall through, but talks rejuvenated at the Winter Meetings, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported. Wendle was the piece that the Athletics were getting in the prior deal, so it's hard to see where the deal did trail off.
However, the Indians will be receiving one of the best utility players in the game in Moss. Moss spent time at first base, right field, left field, and designated hitter in 2014, primarily playing first. But with right field being the weakest of the three outfield spots for Cleveland, expect Moss to play there.
The 31-year-old Moss slashed .234/.334/.438 en route to his first career All-Star appearance this past season. He hit 25 home runs, drove in 81, and posted a .772 OPS in 580 plate appearances. Moss has completely rejuvenated his career with the Athletics, hitting 76 homers in three years (1381 plate appearances) with Oakland, while hitting just 15 from 2007 to 2011 (749 PA).
Moss loves Progressive Field in Cleveland. He has hit .324/.425/.706 there with two homers and 10 driven in over just 40 plate appearances. He had six hits in ten at bats there this season. However, Progressive Field tends to be a pitcher's park, maybe even as much so as O.CO Colosseum, where the Athletics reside.
Moss was selected in the 8th round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the Red Sox and has hit .248/.326/.460 with 91 homers and 298 runs batted in over eight big league seasons with Boston, the Pirates, Phillies, and Athletics. The A's have paid Moss, who isn't a free agent until 2017, just $5.7 million over the past two years. With arbitration again looming, that appears to jump tremendously.
In return for Moss, Oakland gets 24-year-old second base prospect Joe Wendle, who hit .253/.311/.414 with eight homers and 50 runs batted in over 370 plate appearances with Double-A Akron.
The trade of Moss is just another deal for the Athletics, as they have quickly turned from contenders to what it looks like rebuilders. They dealt Yoenis Cespedes in late July to get Jon Lester, but merely four months later they are dealing Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss for prospects. Billy Beane definitely knows what he's doing, but the Athletics' roster has taken a huge swing recently.