The Oakland A's acquired RHP Aaron Kurcz from the Atlanta Braves on Monday in exchange for international signing bonus slot 113. The slot is worth $167,000. Kurcz joins the A's from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he had a 3.27 ERA and a 38:21 K:BB in 33 innings this season.
Kurcz has been well-traveled since his selection in the 10th round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs. Taken out of the College of Southern Nevada (Bryce Harper's alma mater), Kurcz spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Cubs. Before the 2012 season, he was traded from Chicago to the Boston Red Sox. Kurcz was the player to be named later in the compensation package that the Red Sox received from Chicago in exchange for GM/President Theo Epstein.
Kurcz pitched at the Double-A level for Boston in 2012 and then missed all of the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned to Double-A Portland in 2014. This off-season, Kurcz was traded once again, this time from Boston to Atlanta, in exchange for RHP Anthony Varvaro.
The 2015 season has been Kurcz's first at the Triple-A level. International League batters are hitting only .232 against him, but he has struggled with his command. He has been a strike-out pitcher throughout his career, and he has 303 strike-outs in 235 innings. He has walked 115 in his career and has allowed 14 homeruns.
Kurcz is a hard thrower. His fastball can reach 96 MPH. He also has a breaking ball and a change-up. He will turn 25 in August.