The Oakland A's completed a two-player deal on Tuesday, sending reliever Evan Scribner to their AL West rivals, the Seattle Mariners, in exchange for minor league prospect Trey Cochran-Gill. The deal opens up a roster spot on the A's 40-man roster.
Scribner, who is out of options, will be coming off of a shoulder injury that ended his 2015 season early. Scribner had a torn lat muscle repaired in his right shoulder in September. He is expected to be healthy for the start of spring training. The right-handed reliever had an unusual season for the A's in 2015. He struck-out 64 and walked only four in 60 innings for Oakland. His K:BB rate was the second-best in modern baseball history among pitchers with at least 60 innings in a season. However, Scribner also allowed 14 homeruns, or more than two per nine innings. That led to a 4.35 ERA.
Despite those outstanding strike-out numbers, Scribner isn't a hard thrower, with his fastball averaging 91 MPH in 2015. However, his curveball is an effective strike-out pitch. Scribner should benefit from playing his home games in the spacious Safeco Field. He is arbitration-eligible for the first time. Scribner joins Fernando Abad, Tyler Clippard, Dan Otero, Pat Venditte, Drew Pomeranz, Edward Mujica and Eric O'Flaherty as relievers that threw at least 20 innings for the A's last season that have been let go.
Cochran-Gill will help fill the spot on the A's reliever depth chart that was vacated by Brendan McCurry when he was traded to the Houston Astros. Like McCurry, Cochran-Gill is a 2014 draft pick who reached Double-A during his first full professional season. Cochran-Gill was a 17th-round pick of the Mariners in 2014 out of Auburn. The 5'10'' right-hander allowed one run in 36.1 short-season innings during his pro debut season. He struck-out 44, walked seven and had a 2.71 GO/AO.
This season, Cochran-Gill pitched primarily at High-A and Double-A. He also made three appearances in Triple-A in May when the Tacoma Rainiers were short-handed. Cochran-Gill dominated in the California League, posting a 1.37 ERA in 19.2 innings. He struck-out 18, walked three and held opposing batters to a .129 average.
Cochran-Gill made those three appearances for Tacoma in early May and then was assigned to Double-A, where he would spend the rest of the season. With the Jackson Generals, Cochran-Gill struggled with his command. He had a 30:32 K:BB in 53.2 innings and a 4.43 ERA. His GO/AO remained strong (2.17).
An under-sized right-hander, Cochran-Gill relies primarily on two pitches -- a heavy sinker that can touch 93 and a solid slider. He has yet to allow a homerun in his professional career. He will turn 23 in December.