The Oakland A's made their third trade of the off-season, dealing LHP Drew Pomeranz and prospect Jose Torres to the San Diego Padres in exchange for 1B Yonder Alonso and LHP Marc Rzepczynski. The deal also includes a player to be named later heading from Oakland to San Diego.
Alonso was once one of the top prospects in baseball. He has had a solid career hitting for average and getting on-base, but he has never hit for as much power has he was projected to in the minor leagues. Last season, Alonso hit .282 with five homeruns in 103 games with the Padres. He missed more than 50 games with two injuries -- a right shoulder bruise and a lower back strain. Alonso has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career.
Rzepczynski had a down season in 2015 between the Padres and the Cleveland Indians. The lefty specialist had a 4.43 ERA with Cleveland and a 7.36 ERA with San Diego after a mid-season trade. In 2014, Rzepczynski was one of the top lefty specialists in the AL when he had a 2.74 ERA in 73 appearances for Cleveland. Rzepczynski is very durable but isn't effective against right-handed batters, so he will be a match-up reliever for A's manager Bob Melvin. With Pomeranz traded and Fernando Abad removed from the A's roster, Rzepczynski is the only lefty in the A's projected Opening Day bullpen besides closer Sean Doolittle.
Jose Torres was added to the A's 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft deadline. Torres, 22, had a breakout season as a reliever for the A's Low-A Beloit and High-A Stockton clubs this year, posting a 2.56 ERA in 77.1 innings. He struck-out 84. Torres has a fastball that can touch 96 and an improving curveball. He was a starter until this season, but he expressed a desire to move into the bullpen and thrived in that role. Torres has been praised by the A's minor league coaching staff for his work ethic.
The A's are likely to make several more moves over the next week, as the team's roster starts to come into shape. Oakland has already signed free agent Rich Hill and has acquired Liam Hendriks, Jed Lowrie, Alonso and Rzepczynski.