After failing to capitalize on Scott Downs’ future value by acquiring a run-of-the-mill minor league reliever from the Braves (unlike the astute move by Houston in the Jose Veras deal), the Angels pulled one over on the Oakland A’s Tuesday night, acquiring super-utility minor leaguer Grant Green in exchange for below-average third baseman Alberto Callaspo.
Green, the 13th pick in the 2009 draft, had become a jack-of-all-trades in the minor leagues, spending time at every infield position (minus catcher) and left and center fields. And while his bat is nothing special – he’s been about 17% or so above the league average throughout his minor league career – his positional versatility adds to his value.
Typically, Green has shown slightly below-average walk rates, but combines that with a smattering of speed, solid contact skills, and average-ish power. And according to MinorLeagueCentral.com, he’s handled southpaws exceptionally well throughout his career (.333/.385/.471), making him a valuable platoon player at the very least.
The book on Callaspo is all but written at this point: solid on-base skills with sagging OBPs because his hit tool isn’t all that great, little power, and a decent glove. He’s likely to slide over to second base with Josh Donaldson already manning the hot corner for the A’s.
This is an easy win for the Angels in the long term, especially considering that Callaspo is owed nearly $5M for next season and isn’t arbitration eligible till at least 2016. And when it really comes down to it, Green’s production is likely to mirror that of Callaspo’s.
Photo of Alberto Callaspo Courtesy of Larry W. Smith / EPA / July 29, 2013 via latimes.com