By: Chris Williams
Anyone whom has followed Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics for a long time know that when the rumor mill goes quiet for a long time, Billy and company are usually working on big deals. In this case, the deal sends catching prospect Jacob Nottingham, 20, and pitching prospect Bubba Derby, 21, to the Milwaukee Brewers for the power-hitting major league outfielder Khris Davis, 28, who has deposited 49 home runs in the past 2 seasons. Nottingham and Derby were both considered Top-15 Prospects in the A’s system by most minor league ranking systems.
The A’s now add another starting outfielder to an already crowded depth chart, though this new addition seems destined for everyday playing time in left field. With left field taken care of and right field occupied by incumbent, Josh Reddick, it leaves a bevy of players to keep on the bench and to rotate in center field starting with rookie standout, Billy Burns. The A’s will lose a potentially powerful bat in catcher, Nottingham, though projections have not stapled him into playing catcher at the top level as he is still learning the position. With Derby, the A’s had a potential major league starter in the future but with pitchers like Sean Manaea already projecting to be ready in 2016, the A’s could afford to move Derby without affecting their short-term future.
The Athletics will look to rebound from a season where they finished in the bottom half of the league in home runs as a team and last place in the AL West. With the addition of Davis, the A’s should see a rise in the rankings in both home runs and the division. The addition of Davis will also, more than likely, mean more moves are on the way as the A’s look to thin out a log jam in the outfield.