A’s deal Moss to Indians for second base prospect Wendle

Brandon Moss has been traded to Cleveland for minor league second baseman Joe  Wendle

Brandon Moss has been traded to Cleveland for minor league second baseman Joe

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.

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.

  • Scott

    Total deconstruction of Oakland’s latest Run-DMC (Donaldson, Moss, Cespedes)

  • PBinAubWA

    The goal of rebuilding a roster should be to develop a team that is one day capable of competing for a World Series title. The A’s ownership is only interested in maximizing the profitability of the franchise and Billy Beane is the chief financial officer. That Billy is able to assemble competitive, but not championship caliber teams with a perennial small payroll is a testament to his intellect and instincts. But the veneer of competitiveness is what keeps Billy employed and viable in the minds of the A’s fanbase. That veneer will be shattered in the next few years by the committed ownership of the Anaheim Angels and the improving Seattle Mariners. When Billy Beane can’t even get the A’s to the playoffs anymore what will the fanbase say then?