Did the Twins really just trade an outfielder they added in the middle of the year for nothing for a 27-year-old left-handed pitcher with 31 major league wins, 442 innings pitched and a 3.84 ERA since 2012?
Yes they did. The trade was with Oakland and genius GM Billy Beane, so we are immediately suspicious of this Sam Fuld for Tommy Milone magic.
Fuld was waived — waived! — by Oakland (!) just a few months ago. And now he is worth to them a pitcher who, though nowhere near great, is coated at least with the scent of MLB competency – a very sweet perfume when used to combat the tire fire odor that so often wafts upward from the Twins mound.
The negatives: Oakland didn’t want Milone, so maybe there’s something wrong with him (even though he had a 3.55 ERA in 16 starts before being sent to the minors this season, oh the embarrassment of pitching riches some teams have). Also, the A’s had him for his cheapest years. He’ll be arbitration-eligible in 2015, due a raise from the $510K he’s making this year, but even so he will be a low-cost option for at least another season if not two. And also, this means we might have to watch Chris Parmelee play center field a few times. A Willingham/Parmelee/Arcia outfield. Wow.
The positives: Everything else. Really, everything else. One team’s gold is another team’s garbage. In this case, the Twins were able to spin Oakland’s old garbage into a few good months of Fuld, then trade him back to Oakland for another player the A’s somehow don’t need.
We’re tiptoeing away from this trade quite happily.