The A’s made it out of Monday’s MLB trade deadline with just one acquisition when they acquired Mike Minor from the Texas Rangers for two players to be named later, reportedly outfielder Marcus Smith and third baseman Dustin Harris, both 2019 MLB draft picks.
Minor’s 0-5 record with a 5.60 ERA might have some raising an eyebrow at the addition to an already struggling starting rotation, but Minor’s recent outing indicates why the A's took a chance on him.
“He pitched really well against the Dodgers on Friday night,” A’s general manager David Forst said via conference call on Monday.
In six shutout innings against the Dodgers, Minor allowed four hits and three walks while striking out six.
“We saw him pitch against us early, we spent a lot of time breaking down his stuff, watching his games from this year,” Forst said. “We were very involved with him as a free agent before 2018.”
Last season, Minor earned an AL All-Star selection when he boasted a 3.59 ERA with a 1.238 WHIP.
“We thought he was a good fit now with all the uncertainty going forward with the potential for a number of doubleheaders down the road and players potentially missing time,” Forst said. “I think it was critical to complete this deal for Mike.”
As far as how the A’s will use Minor, there are options. Forst spoke to Minor, who is willing to be flexible.
“Whether he pitches as a starter, reliever or both, I think he’s going to be very valuable,” Forst said.
The rotation currently consists of Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea, Jesús Luzardo, Mike Fiers and Chris Bassitt. The A’s hope the typical domination of Montas and Manaea will return soon.
“I think we’re going to need more than five starters,” Forst said, looking at the overall season.
The A’s will not play through Wednesday, with the first two games against the Seattle Mariners postponed after a member of Oakland’s traveling party tested positive for coronavirus during their series against the Astros in Houston.
Forst wasn’t comfortable with the idea that a six-man rotation could be implemented. However, Bassitt proved last season with then-closer Blake Treinen out due to back pain, he could create a very solid bullpen option -- not that they need the help. The A’s bullpen leads MLB with a 1.87 ERA and 2.92 FIP.
Still, it’s an option.
Last week, in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels, the A's acquired infielder Tommy La Stella for second baseman Franklin Barreto.
Overall, it was a small splash for the A’s, but the team has shown success in the past with veteran acquisitions, and Forst feels the team did exactly what they set out to do.
“I think we set out coming in today to accomplish a couple goals and boost our rotation depth as well as add a left-handed presence to the lineup,” Forst said. “We accomplished, I think under difficult circumstances, I think our team did a good job.”