OAKLAND -- Brandon Moss is back with the A's, who also got their prized lefty in a trade with the Royals on Monday.
Dealing from an area of surplus, the A's sent right-handers Jesse Hahn and Heath Fillmyer to the Royals on Monday evening to acquire Moss and southpaw Ryan Buchter, thus completing a lengthy offseason search for a second southpaw to keep Daniel Coulombe company in the bullpen.
"We have been focused on this for a while," A's general manager David Forst said. "I literally think since the day after the season we've been saying that finding another lefty for the bullpen was a priority. There were free agents that went elsewhere for more money, there were free agents that went elsewhere for less money, there were trade conversations that were probably too rich for us to do. It finally came together."
Buchter becomes the third reliever to join the team this winter. The A's added right-handers Emilio Pagan and Yusmeiro Petit earlier in the offseason as part of an effort to bolster their relief corps behind a young, unproven rotation.
The A's went after Buchter when he was a Minor League free agent following the 2015 season, ultimately losing out to the Padres. He was traded to the Royals last summer, finishing the year with a 2.89 ERA in a career-high 71 appearances between the two clubs. He limited opponents to a .187 batting average, including .176 against left-handers.
"It sounds like no wasn't good enough for them and they found their way back around to acquire me and be able to pick me up somehow," Buchter said. "Obviously when you're traded, it means somebody wants you.
"I like the direction that Oakland his headed. They're trying to compete within that division."
While the A's desire for bullpen help was well-documented, they were seemingly set elsewhere, calling into question Moss' place on this roster. He spent the bulk of the 2017 season in the DH spot for Kansas City, a role Khris Davis is expected to assume most days. Moss, of course, played a lot of first base during his first tenure with the A's, now home to Matt Olson. The outfield is also crowded, so his second tour in Oakland could potentially be brief.
"It's not entirely clear how he would fit into our 25-man roster at this time," Forst said. "We'll see how it plays out the next couple of months. Brandon is a great guy to have around. I've already heard from a number of people who are excited to have him back, and he's equally excited to be back. He knows it's not an obvious fit, but we had a great conversation."
Moss, who hit .207 with 22 home runs and 50 RBIs in 118 games last year, enjoyed a breakout year with the A's in 2012, his first of three seasons with them. Oakland made the postseason each of those years, before Moss was dealt to Cleveland in a December 2014 trade for infielder Joey Wendle, who was traded to Tampa Bay this winter.
The 34-year-old has one year remaining on a two-year, $12 million deal that will see him take home $7.25 million this season. As part of Monday's deal, the A's received $3.25 million to offset the remaining dollars on his contract, which also included a $1 million buyout.
Hahn, who is out of options, finishes his A's career 11-16 with a 4.57 ERA in 39 games (38 starts), his best stretch coming in 2015, when he pitched to a 3.35 ERA in his first 16 starts, before injury prematurely ended his season. Hahn has since been shuffled back and forth from Triple-A.
"It was an up-and-down ride here for Jesse, and a lot of times through no fault of his own," Forst said. "He worked hard to stay out on the field and a number of different injuries cropped up. He ran into some bad injury luck, but he did bust it to try to get out there and we appreciate that."
Fillmyer, the A's fifth-round selection in the 2014 Draft, was 22-24 with a 3.78 ERA in 84 games, including 75 starts, in four Minor League seasons in the organization.