It had been a few weeks, so it was time for the Oakland A's and the Washington Nationals to make another trade. Since the winter of 2010, the A's and Nationals have completed eight trades. In this latest deal, Oakland re-acquired one of the players they traded to Washington in that first deal in 2010 -- outfielder Corey Brown.
Brown returns to the organization that he played for from 2007 through 2010. The Oklahoma State alum was the A's supplemental first-round pick in 2007 (third-overall pick by the A's behind James Simmons and Sean Doolittle). Brown reached as high as Triple-A Sacramento with the A's before he was traded along with reliever Henry Rodriguez to Washington for outfielder Josh Willingham before the 2011 season.
In three years with the Nationals, Brown spent most of his playing time with Triple-A Syracuse. He did reach the majors with the Nats in each of his three years with the club, appearing in 36 games over those three seasons. In 45 big league at-bats, Brown has a .175 BA and two homeruns.
In 2013, Brown appeared in 107 games for the Syracuse Chiefs. He hit .254 with 19 homeruns, 12 stolen bases and he posted a 799 OPS. Brown's best season at the Triple-A level came in 2012, when he hit .285/.365/.523 with 25 homers and 18 stolen bases.
Injuries have hampered Brown at times during his professional career, and he missed more than a month in 2013 with an oblique injury. Brown has a physical style of play, as he runs the bases and covers centerfield without much regard to his body. Brown has above-average power and the speed to steal double-digit bases. Strike-outs have always been an issue for Brown, who looks to go deep in any count, but he has always done a fair job of getting on-base. He is a solid defensive centerfielder who can also play the corners.
Brown fills the final spot on the A's 40-man roster. He is out-of-options, so the A's will have to carry him on their 25-man roster at the start of spring training or risk exposing him to waivers. Brown joins Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Taylor, Craig Gentry and Shane Peterson as outfielders on the 40-man roster (first baseman Brandon Moss can also play the outfield). Crisp, Reddick, Cespedes and Gentry are locks to make the A's Opening Day roster (provided they are not traded before spring training and are healthy). Taylor, Peterson and Brown will battle for the fifth outfield spot.
Brown could be a valuable platoon for the A's, as he has hit right-handers much better than he has hit left-handers over the past three seasons. Cespedes, Gentry and Taylor are right-handed hitters.