Royals and Athletics Swap Parts
The Royals have traded Ryan Buchter and Brandon Moss to the Athletics for Jesse Hahn and Heath Fillmyer. The A’s are getting a much needed left-handed reliever, and the Royals gain a little budget and roster flexibility with Moss gone.
The 34-year-old Moss, who batted .207 with 22 homers last season, goes from the starting first baseman in Kansas City to backup outfielder/first baseman/designated hitter in Oakland. While Moss was probably only valuable in 20-team or AL-only leagues, he has no value now. It’s tough to pinpoint who internally is taking over first base in Kansas City. Probably Cheslor Cuthbert. The Royals are opening up their first base position for a free agent first baseman, probably Eric Hosmer.
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Ryan Buchter is the prized piece in this trade. The 30-year-old lefty has become nice bullpen arm (2.89 ERA in 65 IP in 2017). Buchter is not a lefty specialist and can neutralize both left and right-handed hitters. While he has four pitches, he mainly uses his rising fastball. The pitch makes him an extreme flyball pitcher (17th lowest GB% among qualified relievers). The easy flyball outs have helped him post a career .216 BABIP and an ERA at least one run less than his ERA estimators. For now, Buchter will not be used in high-leverage situations, but the Athletics’ bullpen is far from being elite, so he could eventually get some saves.
As for Hahn, he’s a rather boring arm whose results should be better (5.30 ERA in 13 starts in 2017). He attacks hitters with a 94-mph fastball and has an above average slider and curveball. His high ERA was at least one run higher than his ERA estimators because of a 61% LOB%. He really struggled with runners on base (.303 vs. wOBA with no one on, and .346 with runners on). He’s shown similar splits throughout his career, so it may be a trait going forward.
Even with the struggles, Hahn should be a decent back-of-the-rotation starter. The Royals rotation is quite thin, and Hahn could eventually start. For now, he looks to be a long reliever.
As for Heath Fillmyer, he’s not close enough to the majors for redraft leagues, and he’s not good enough to be coveted in dynasty formats. Ignore.
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