An otherwise painfully sloppy Angels-Rangers game took an interesting twist Alberto Callaspo was removed from the game half way through. As it turns out, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for infielder Grant Green.
On first blush, it is hard not to like this deal for the Angels. Callaspo was never a big part of their plans and they have semi-viable options to replace him in Luis Jimenez and maybe even Chris Nelson (who was reportedly pulled from his game with Salt Lake at the exact same time as Callaspo). In return they get a prospect who is major league ready and capable of manning several positions giving them options for other trades with their infield.
The common belief is that Green will take over at second base in an as of yet unconsummated move to send Howie Kendrick out in favor of starting pitching. That may prove to be the case, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. An important thing to keep in mind with Green is that while people like his bat, he has been something of trainwreck defensively at second, so he could wind up at third base either now, should the Halos hold onto Kendrick, or years from now when Taylor Lindsey or Alex Yarbrough are ready to take over. That sounds like a negative, but having that kind of flexibility is never a bad thing.
Wherever Green ends up, this is strong return for a player like Callaspo. Green is a top five prospect in a strong Oakland system and ready to play now either as a starter or as a utility guy. One would imagine he'll play a lot one way or another the rest of the way so that the Angels can evaluate him. If the former first rounder reaches his potential with the bat, he should easily out-hit Callaspo and even possibly put up better numbers than Kendrick too. The defense is always going to be a problem, but if he can hit .280/.325/.440, then you can live with that no matter where on the infield he ends up.
In a worst case scenario, the Angels saved about $6 million and got a guy who should at least be a decent utility player for their beleaguered bench. That still seems like a good trade to me.
The only thing that bothers me about the move is that it feels like the Angels pulled a bit of a fast one on Billy Beane. That almost always means that it was the Angels getting screwed, not the A's. In fact, there are already rumors that Beane has Callaspo lined up to be flipped to another destination, so that should make for some good theater if he somehow extracts an even better return than Green. That might just be my paranoia talking though.
With this trade now in the books, tomorrow will be full of intrigue as we all wait on the edge of our seats for the other shoe to drop and Howie Kendrick to be traded... or not.
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@LabMonkey How do you figure? The only reason Green was expendable is because the A's couldn't find a position for him (they tried him at SS, CF, and 2B) he's not going to be a good defensive player but he should be a much better hitter than Wood. I think Green will be a .280/.340/.400+ with some pop and defensive versatility. Even if he's not a regular he could be a very good utility player
If Green pans out and Howie is traded this could be a good, but sad, thing. I think Nelson comes up to play third until Lucho is healthy then they'll split time in the infield. Green plays second while Howie's traded for pitching and Lindsey and Yarbrough have time to develop where they take over second base and Green becomes the third baseman or a very good utility player. Then we keep Aybar because of the lack of talent in the majors along with having no replacements. I'd like to see the Angels trade Iannetta and extend Vargas now, trading Howie, Callaspo, and Iannetta gets a nice amount of money off the payroll and allow the team to extend Vargas while having some flexibility for a few other moves. Oh yeah, and please don't trade Kennedy
There is nothing in callaspo that is typical of what Billy Beane seeks, and I doubt josh Donaldson is going back behind the plate. I don't really care where he flips him, but strange he couldn't use Green as the extra player. Def makes you wonder, but I still would take the trade due to upside, just hope he isn't another Dally Mac