LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It's hard not to like the A's latest trade from all angles.Against the backdrop of a special homecoming story, Oakland acquired Stephen Piscotty from St. Louis on Thursday, parting with infield prospects Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock to fill its need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder.The
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It's hard not to like the A's latest trade from all angles.
Against the backdrop of a special homecoming story, Oakland acquired Stephen Piscotty from St. Louis on Thursday, parting with infield prospects Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock to fill its need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder.
The move puts Piscotty just a short drive from his mom and his hometown. Gretchen Piscotty, who was diagnosed with ALS earlier this year, lives roughly 25 miles from the Coliseum in Pleasanton, Calif. Her son missed time with the Cardinals last year to be at home with their family following her diagnosis.
"I hear great things about Oakland's young core and I'm excited to be part of that," Piscotty told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I grew up an A's fan and have gone to games since I was an infant. Bittersweet sums up the emotions of the trade. The thought of playing at home is a dream and to be close to my mom and family is priceless."
Thursday's swap was foremost a baseball deal. But a sweet one at that. Responding to a question on Twitter, A's president Dave Kaval said the team will donate some profits from Piscotty jersey sales to ALS research.
"In fairness, it's really two-fold," said John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations. "One, we look at our outfield, and there's definitely congestion. And clearly, an opportunity to get him closer to home was something we were also thinking about. But you're never making a player trade simply for geographic or sentimental reasons. It had to be something that made sense for us."
For the A's, it makes a lot of sense. Without giving up any of their top prospects, the A's reeled in a cost-controlled outfielder they've been eyeing for months. Piscotty, who played collegiately at Stanford, has a contract that takes him through 2022 for $33.5 million with a team option for 2023.
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For weeks, the A's vocalized their plans to add an outfielder, which now allows them to move Khris Davis into a semi-permanent DH role. Piscotty presents as a versatile option in the outfield, with experience in all three spots, though his primary position is right.
He hit .235 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs, playing in 107 games in a season interrupted by two stints on the disabled list. The year before, Piscotty totaled 22 homers and 85 RBIs in 153 games, batting .273 and reaching base at a .343 clip.
Munoz, who signed with the A's out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, was a .267 hitter in six Minor League seasons with Oakland, totaling 41 home runs in 473 games. He hit .300 between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville this year and plays multiple positions.
Schrock, primarily a second baseman, also had a nice season, earning a place on the Texas League Midseason and Postseason All-Star teams after batting .321 with seven home runs and 46 RBIs for Midland. However, he was blocked at the big league level, with A's top prospect Franklin Barreto viewed as the second baseman of the future following Jed Lowrie's departure.
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After establishing himself as an above-average offensive performer over his first two seasons (121 wRC+), Piscotty took a step back in 2017 (92 wRC+). However, the outfielder recorded a substantially improved walk rate (13.0 percent) while maintaining similar strikeout, fly-ball and hard-hit rates relative to the previous two years. A candidate to rebound in '18, Piscotty warrants late-round consideration in 12-team leagues as he joins a club that can offer him a regular role.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.