Brandon Moss Traded To Cleveland Indians For Joe Wendle

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According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics have completed a trade for 1B/OF/DH Brandon Moss:

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The Athletics will receive minor league second baseman Joe Wendle in return for the power-hitting lefty.

The Indians either missed out or weren’t given the opportunity to bid for A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson a couple of weeks ago, but respond with what could perhaps be another steal for Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti.

Moss will fill a need for the Indians, as another power bat was a priority this offseason. In his time with the A’s, Moss averaged 25 home runs and 75 RBI, displaying versatility as he can play the outfield, first base, and designated hitter. Last season, though slowed by a hip injury for most of the second half, Moss still managed to slash .234/.334.438 with 25 round trippers and 81 RBI. A first-time All-Star selection last season, Moss will look to build on his success in the much more hitter-friendly confines of Progressive Field, particularly for left-handers.

Wendle missed significant time last season with a broken hamate bone in his hand, playing mostly for AA Akron. Wendle, 25 years-old, has never been above AA and looks to project to start around the same level with the A’s organization in the immediate future.

Indians GM Chris Antonetti gave a comment on the trade via a press release:

“The addition of Brandon Moss provides our offense with a proven run-producer and power bat for the heart of our order,”Antonetti said in a statement. “Brandon not only has great power, but his defensive versatility and personality also complement the team culture Tito has helped establish over the past two years.”

Aug 25, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Brandon Moss (37) gets a single during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Moss has two years of team control, and is eligible for arbitration for the second time.

The trade could possibly lead to another move by Cleveland; there’s somewhat of a logjam in the outfield now between Moss, Ryan Raburn, David Murphy, Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher, with youngsters Zach Walters and Tyler Holt on the 40-man roster, and it’s possible one of them could be traded as a result, though not completely necessary. Michael Brantley also plays outfield, but figures to have a starting job in either left field or center field thanks to his MVP-caliber season, and is unlikely to be moved.

There are other possibilities for Cleveland to make moves, including moving Jason Kipnis or Carlos Santana, believed to be part of the franchises’ core, but it would likely take a surprise offer for one of those two to be traded.

But the Indians have landed a bona-fide power hitter, albeit one with an injury concern. But if Moss is healthy, and the Indians expect him to be healthy by Opening Day, if not spring training, he’s a legitimate threat to give Cleveland 30 home runs in the middle of their suddenly-interesting lineup.

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