A's trade Neuse to Dodgers for Kolarek in four-player deal


The A's are making moves with spring training around the corner.

The A's are trading infielder Sheldon Neuse and minor league pitcher Gus Varland to the Los Angeles Dodgers for lefty reliever Adam Kolarek and minor league outfielder Cody Thomas, the organization announced Friday morning.

ESPN's Jeff Passan first reported details of the transaction.

Neuse is the A's No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and is a versatile infielder who has 14 hits over 56 MLB at-bats. Varland is the A's No. 28 prospect, and the 24-year-old most recently pitched for the Stockton Ports in High-A.

Kolarek was one of the Dodgers' top relievers in 2020, going 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA over 20 regular-season appearances. The 32-year-old southpaw didn't find as much success in the postseason, allowing a 13.50 ERA over four appearances on LA's path to a World Series title.

RELATED: Why A's 'No. 1' option for Puk is the starting rotation

Thomas is the Dodgers' 29th ranked prospect, and slashed .236/.308/.443 overall with 23 home runs in 130 games in his last full season with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers. Another lefty, Thomas brings some power to the organization and likely will begin his career with the A's in Triple-A with the Las Vegas Aviators.

Kolarek gives the A's a solid left-hander to add to the bullpen, although the team took another chunk out of an already thin farm system in order to acquire him.

After Liam Hendriks departed to the Windy City this offseason, adding a reliever of Kolarek's talent is a vital addition.

The A's will have a young starting rotation in 2021, and might need to rely on veterans like Kolarek if anyone sputters out of the gate.


Download and subscribe to the Balk Talk Podcast