The middle of the A’s 2014 batting order took another major hit Monday with the news the A’s have traded first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians, a deal whose origins I was the first to announce last week via Twitter.
In return, the A’s will get second baseman Joe Wendle, who has never played about Double-A. In 87 games with Akron last year, he hit .253 with a .311 on-base percentage, eight homers and 50 RBIs.
It was the second big move of the Winter Meetings’ first morning, the other being former A’s starting pitcher Jason Hammel signing a deal with the Cubs, the team from which the A’s got him last June.
Wendle, who missed much of last season with a hamate injury, is well-liked by scouts, who covet his offensive potential, particularly his extra-base muscle.
But giving up a player with 55 homers the last two seasons in Moss will be a crushing blow to the 2015 A’s offense. Since the middle of last season, the A’s have lost left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, third baseman Josh Donaldson and now Moss, the three men who got the most time batting third, fourth and fifth for Oakland the last three years.
Specifically, the move didn’t fill the A’s need for a starting shortstop, which is still at the top of the A’s wish list at the Winter Meetings.