A's trade Moll, Peterson for 2 Minor League righties

August 1st, 2023

LOS ANGELES – Earlier this month, the A’s made it clear to playoff-contending clubs that they were open for trade business by sending Shintaro Fujinami to the Orioles.

One day before the Trade Deadline, they were active once again in addressing their desire to add young pitching with two separate transactions on Monday, this time acquiring a pair of right-handers in from the Reds, who ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 28 prospect, and from the D-backs. In exchange, the A’s dealt left-hander and international pool money to Cincinnati, while infielder  goes to Arizona along with cash considerations.

While the A’s had received interest from several clubs on a few of their veteran-type players such as Peterson, Moll was not necessarily a surefire lock to be moved at the Deadline. The reliever is under team control through the 2027 season and will not be eligible for arbitration until 2025.

A’s receive: RHP Joe Boyle (Cincinnati’s No. 28 prospect)
Reds receive: LHP Sam Moll, international pool money

A’s receive: RHP Chad Patrick
D-backs receive: INF Jace Peterson

It was going to require a solid return for the A’s to deal Moll, and they believe they got that in the 6-foot-7 Boyle, who boasts an 80-grade fastball that averages 97 mph and can routinely hit triple digits. In 19 starts for Double-A Chattanooga this season, the 23-year-old has posted a 4.50 ERA with 122 strikeouts and 75 walks across 84 innings.

The high walk total makes it clear there are some command issues for Boyle to work out. Another solution could be to move him to the bullpen, where his three-pitch repertoire – which in addition to the high-octane fastball also includes an upper-80s slider that misses plenty of bats and a low-80s curveball – could play up even better in shorter stints.

Boyle will enter the A’s Top 30 prospects rankings on MLB Pipeline at No. 22.

Patrick, 24, was a fourth-round selection by the D-backs in the 2021 MLB Draft and holds a 4.26 career ERA across three Minor League seasons. He has pitched exclusively at Double-A Amarillo this season, posting a 4.71 ERA in 19 starts with 90 strikeouts and 36 walks in 91 2/3 innings.

Moll, meanwhile, joins what is a tight playoff race in the National League Central looking to help bolster the Reds’ bullpen. The 31-year-old lefty has been one of A’s manager Mark Kotsay’s most trusted options in high-leverage spots this season, posting a 4.54 ERA in 45 games pitched with 46 strikeouts and 19 walks in 37 2/3 innings while holding left-handed hitters to a .197 average.

Peterson, who signed a two-year, $9.5 million deal with the A’s this offseason, hit .221/.313/.324 across 92 games with seven doubles, six home runs and a .637 OPS. In addition, he provided some important veteran leadership in a clubhouse filled with young and inexperienced players. The move opens up third base for 22-year-old rookie Jordan Diaz, who began the year rated as Oakland’s No. 7 prospect and has currently been splitting time around the infield with the big league club.