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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
Wendle

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.

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Giambi, Swisher see Indians built in mold of A’s

Jason Giambi looks at Nick Swisher and he sees himself at a younger age.

Cleveland cleanup hitter Swisher looks at Giambi and sees the player he idolized while coming up in the Oakland organization.

The two ex-A’s look at the current A’s and they see the team they’d like their team to become.

Ah, the wheels do go round and round in baseball.

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Giambi back for one more run with Indians

The sun is mostly still shining on Jason Giambi

PHOENIX – The call didn’t come until February, but when it did come with an invitation to the Cleveland Indians’ spring training camp, it was right on time.

Longtime A’s first baseman Jason Giambi, who just turned 42, said yes when Cleveland called and is likely to be the part-time designated hitter and full-time mentor to the young corps of Indians hitters. He’s just fine with that.

“I’ll be out here until they tear the uniform off me,’’ Giambi said in the visitors’ dugout before Cleveland paid a Cactus League call on the Oakland A’s Monday.

“It’s a good opportunity to get some playing time, and they want me to mentor the young kids, which is something I’d been doing in Colorado anyway. And I love to play ball.’’

Giambi has known Cleveland manager Terry Francona since Francona was managing the Chicago White Sox Double-A Birmingham team on which one Michael Jordan was the star attraction in the mid-1990s. Giambi played for Huntsville at the same time.

“It started then and we really became friends when he was managing Boston and I was with the Yankees,’’ Giambi said. “Nothing’s guaranteed, but it would be great to play for him.’’

Giambi, who has 1,405 career RBIs and 429 homers, needs to have a decent spring to make the team, but Francona has said the opening is there if Giambi grabs it.

Down the line, Giambi is open to coaching or managing when he’s done playing.