A's acquire Alonso, Rzepczynski from SD
Oakland sends Pomeranz, Torres to Padres in deal
OAKLAND -- The A's stayed busy and swung a deal with the Padres on Wednesday for first baseman Yonder Alonso and lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski, giving up left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres in the process.
Oakland also sent a player to be named to San Diego.
The left-handed-hitting Alonso, 28, will see the bulk of playing time at first base in place of the non-tendered Ike Davis, general manager David Forst suggested. Mark Canha remains a solid right-handed-hitting option at the position, but Forst deemed Alonso as "a guy whose defense warrants him being out there the majority of the time."
That points to Canha spending more innings in left field, with uncertainty surrounding veteran Coco Crisp's health. Crisp was limited to 139 plate appearances this year and hit .175 in that span.
Like Rzepczynski, Alonso was expected to be non-tendered by the Padres, who are likely to start Wil Myers at first base. Alonso hasn't hit more than nine home runs in a season, totaling no more than seven since 2012, but he's reached base at a .340 clip over his six-year playing career, and he hit .282 in 103 games last season.
He's already familiar with several of his new teammates, including third baseman Danny Valencia. The two played together in high school and at the University of Miami, and "everywhere we've gone, I feel like when we've played together, we've won," Alonso said.
"I know the A's have been to the playoffs three out of four years, and hopefully we can make it four of five," he continued. "I talked to Danny earlier today, and he had nothing but great things to say about the team. I just wish, honestly, it was February, so I could pack my stuff and get ready for Spring Training."
"We've been looking to fill a couple spots since the end of the season, and first base was something we'd kicked some tires on in trades and free agency," Forst said. "Yonder was a guy we asked San Diego about right after the season. One of the best defensive first baseman in the game, if not the best. Obviously the knock on him has been he doesn't profile as a [power-hitting] first baseman, but he's still a very productive offensive player."
Injuries, though, have often disrupted Alonso's performance. He appeared in over 103 games just once following his trade from the Reds to the Padres in December 2011 as part of the Mat Latos deal, and the arbitration-eligible 28-year-old has endured five DL stints since 2013. MLB Trade Rumors projects his 2015 salary at $2.5 million.
"I think, given the history of what the A's offensive mindset is, it fits right into what I do," Alonso said. "I feel like I'm a consistent hitter, I'm a tough out. I also want to see pitches. I don't want to strike out. I think [striking out is] probably the worst thing as a hitter you can do. I put the ball in play, hit the gaps. The last two or three weeks last year were probably my best at-bats, just because I was healthy."
Rzepczynski, 30, gives the A's a second left-handed relief arm to go with closer Sean Doolittle, mitigating the loss of Pomeranz, who pitched well out of an otherwise beleaguered bullpen this past season while also making nine starts.
Rzepczynski posted a combined 5.66 ERA in 72 appearances between the Indians and Padres in 2015. He completed just 35 innings in that span, yielding a .292 opponents average -- .255 against lefties, .372 versus right-handers. He agreed to a one-year deal on Wednesday.
"Losing Drew was not something we set out to do, but San Diego made it clear they were interested in him from the beginning," said Forst, who also has made trades for reliever Liam Hendriks and infielder Jed Lowrie in recent weeks.
Torres, 22, spent the bulk of the 2015 season with Class A Beloit and made one appearance for Class A Advanced Stockton, going 4-5 overall with a 2.56 ERA in 47 appearances. He had been ranked as Oakland's No. 23 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
With a lifetime .757 OPS against right-handers (.653 vs. lefties), Alonso is likely destined to work the heavy side of a first-base platoon with the A's next season. Having yet to post a 10-homer season since making big league debut in 2010, the native Cuban should see his '16 fantasy value restricted to AL-only leagues.
Further down the West Coast, Pomeranz could become relevant in deep mixed leagues if he can win a spot in an unsettled Padres rotation during Spring Training. Across two seasons with the A's, the left-hander posted a 3.08 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and an 8.5 K/9 rate while making 19 starts and 54 relief appearances.