The Oakland Athletics have added a bat in preparation for a postseason run. Friday night the A’s acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Angels for infielder Franklin Barreto, the team announced. The trade is one-for-one.
La Stella, 31 and a free agent-to-be, is having a marvelous season. He’s hitting .273/.371/.475 with four home runs and more than twice as many walks (15) as strikeouts (7) this year, and he’s capable of playing the three non-shortstop infield positions. The A’s added a quality player to an already great team, no doubt.
Oakland has been playing Tony Kemp at second base primarily this season and he is sporting a .378 on-base percentage, but he also hitting .246 with no power. Kemp and La Stella are both lefty hitters, so they can’t platoon naturally. The A’s could go with this regular lineup going forward:
- SS Marcus Semien
- LF Robbie Grossman
- 3B Matt Chapman
- 1B Matt Olson
- RF Stephen Piscotty
- 2B Tommy La Stella
- DH Mark Canha
- CF Ramon Laureano
- C Sean Murphy
Barreto, 24, was the headliner in the Josh Donaldson trade with the Blue Jays during his prospect days, though he’s been unable to find his way at the MLB level. He’s a career .180/.210/.360 hitter with nine home runs in 95 career big league games. The Angels figure to play him every day moving forward to see whether he can settle in.
At 10-22, the Angels have the worst record in baseball and they figure to trade away several other players prior to Monday’s trade deadline. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons is an impending free agent and righty Dylan Bundy, who is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player in 2021, will generate interest as well.
The Athletics, meanwhile, have baseball’s best record at 22-10. For them, adding La Stella is more about adding more offensive depth for the postseason rather than simply winning as many games as possible during the regular season.