The A’s made a late-night trade Monday that they hope will upgrade a season-long production issue at shortstop.
Stephen Drew will be reunited with former manager Bob Melvin in Oakland, as he was acquired from the Diamondbacks in exchange for shortstop prospect Sean Jamieson. The two sides had tried to work out a deal prior to the trade deadline but were obviously unable at that time to cross the finish line.
It’s an interesting deal from both perspectives. The D’Backs are still in the NL West and Wild Card races, and they will now have to employ a combination of Willie Bloomquist, Jacob Elmore and John McDonald at shortstop. But, Drew’s production since returning from the disabled list (.193/.290/.311 with two homers over 40 games) has been lacking, and Arizona will save significant money by moving him.
From the A’s side of things, they’re likely anxious to get anyone other than Cliff Pennington into the lineup. Pennington is a career .248/.313/.354 hitter that’s batting just .198/.265/.284 this season, and he’s sporting an ugly .146/.234/.220 line since the All-Star break.
Although Drew’s production since the beginning of 2011 isn’t anything to write home about, he’s been unlucky from a BABIP (.242) perspective this year, and he, of course, has a track record of well above average power for a shortstop. It’s not often that the A’s make a trade to take on salary, but their pitching has put them in playoff position, and they could use a jolt of offense. It’s an admirable gamble from general manager Billy Beane.
Tommy John for Crawford
From the Department of Obvious: Carl Crawford’s first two seasons in Boston haven’t gone well.
After batting just .255/.289/.405 last season in the first year of a seven-year, $142 million deal, Crawford’s 2012 campaign is set to end after just 31 games. He’ll undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow Thursday.
Crawford underwent surgery on his left wrist in January, which is why he originally was placed on the disabled list to start the season. But, the outfielder injured his elbow in April, and that ultimately became the bigger concern. He returned in mid-July and was batting .306/.307/.556 in 18 games in August, but the pain in Crawford’s elbow from throwing just became too much to deal with.
Typical recovery time from Tommy John surgery for a position player is 6-8 months, which means Crawford should have a good shot to be ready for the start of the 2013 season. As a former top-five fantasy player that’s coming off poor production and injuries the last two years, he’ll be an interesting guy to track in drafts next spring.
National League Quick Hits: Johan Santana will undergo an MRI on his back Tuesday. The Mets had planned on Santana making at least another start or two before being shut down, but it’s possible the back ailment could signal the end of his season ... Shaun Marcum (elbow) will rejoin the Brewers’ rotation this weekend after tossing six scoreless innings in his final rehab start Monday. It’s possible Randy Wolf will lose his rotation spot as a result, though it’s more likely that one of the team’s younger starters will be moved to the bullpen ... Melky Cabrera could reportedly face further discipline from Major League Baseball. The outfielder created a fake website and fake supplement in hopes of trying to dupe investigators during the appeals process of his 50-game suspension for testing positive for synthetic testosterone ... The Braves signed Lyle Overbay to a minor league contract. He’ll get in some at-bats at Triple-A Gwinnett before being added as a bench bat when rosters expand ... The Padres released Jason Bartlett Monday. He hasn’t played since mid-May due to a knee injury ... The Pirates designated Juan Cruz for assignment and will release him if he clears waivers. He should be picked up by someone ... Tyler Skaggs was scratched from his scheduled start at Triple-A Reno Monday and could be in line to start one of the games of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Marlins ... Jonathan Lucroy went deep twice and drove in four runs in Monday’s win over the Cubs. He’s batting .328/.379/.554 for the season ... Giancarlo Stanton also had a pair of bombs Monday while plating four runs himself. He’s gone deep five times over the last five games and now has 26 dingers in 93 games this season.
American League Quick Hits: Roger Clemens has signed a contract with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. The Astros watched Clemens work out before he signed, and there’s an outside shot that they could give him a look next month in an effort to boost ticket sales ... Denard Span underwent an MRI on his clavicle Monday and will undergo another one on his shoulder Tuesday. He’s missed six straight games, though the Twins don’t seem antsy to place him on the disabled list ... Brett Anderson (elbow) will rejoin the A’s rotation on Tuesday against the Twins. He’s taking the rotation spot of Dan Straily, who has been optioned to Triple-A ... The A’s will have another decision to make about their rotation pretty soon, as A.J. Griffin (shoulder) is slated to make the first of two rehab starts Wednesday. He’s been terrific in eight starts for the big club, but it’s possible the A’s won’t have room for him ... Alejandro De Aza (oblique) sat out his third straight game Monday and is expected to be placed on the disabled list. DeWayne Wise will fill in for him in center field ... Mark Teixeira (wrist) returned to the lineup Monday and went 2-for-4 with two RBI. He’s likely going to have to deal with some soreness in his left wrist for the remainder of the season ... Nick Blackburn was outrighted to Triple-A Monday. The Twins will replace him in the rotation with Liam Hendriks.