Forced to be creative in how they upgrade and improve their roster, the San Diego Padres announced late Friday morning that they had reached agreement on a trade with the Oakland Athletics. San Diego would receive right-hander Tyson Ross and first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones from Oakland in exchange for infielder Andy Parrino and left-hander Andrew Werner.
Ross is the most interesting of the group, having been highly thought of since the A’s selected him in the 2nd Round of the 2008 Draft, despite the fact that he’s experienced mixed success throughout his pitching career. Over the past three seasons Ross has made 53 appearances (21 starts), pitching a total of 148.1 innings, in which he’s posted a 6-18 record and 5.33 ERA. This past season Oakland asked Ross to make 13 starts (among 18 appearances) but the results were far from desirable. Ross went 2-11 on the year, adding a 6.50 ERA and 1.814 WHIP. However, Ross has been more consistent throughout his minor league career to date. Overall he’s 21-16 with a 4.24 ERA over 297.0 innings (64 appearances, 60 starts). He’d make 13 starts this past season at Triple-A, posting a 6-2 line and 2.99 ERA to go along with a 1.251 WHIP.
The 25 year old has never been considered among the top prospects in baseball, though he was the organization’s 4th best prospect heading into the 2012 season. Most have anticipated that Ross could develop into a back-end starter, provided he’s able to cut back on the walks and improve his overall control. It’s possible his development may have been stunted some considering the constant back-and-forth between the rotation and bullpen throughout his career with Oakland. San Diego may prove to be a nice “fresh start” for the Berkeley native and Ross could be a viable candidate in Spring Training for a spot on the team’s 25-man roster. It doesn’t hurt that his younger brother, Joe Ross, is in the Padres system after being taken in the 1st Round of the 2011 Draft.
Kirby-Jones, 24, has shown some solid power numbers and the propensity to work a walk throughout his brief minor league career. He’s batted a combined .248/.384/.448 in 1,195 plate appearances over three seasons, adding 48 HR and 161 RBI. To date he’s looked somewhat like an Adam Dunn-type, someone who doesn’t hit much but when he does, there’s some power there, but he’s also been considered old for his level so take that for what you will. A step up to Double-A shouldn’t be out of the question for Kirby-Jones for next season.
Parrino saw some brief time with the Padres over the past two seasons, batting .200/.319/.256 over 193 plate appearances. Defensively he’s been a versatile option, splitting most of his time between shortstop and second base, while also appearing at third base and right field. Over 265 plate appearances at Triple-A this past year the 27 year old did hit .328/.400/.464, but he has very limited power potential. Primarily a shortstop throughout his career, it’s been reported that Parrino could potentially come to Spring Training with a chance at winning the team’s starting shortstop job but, as Sean Davis pointed out at Swingin’ A’s, such a move would likely not be the best decision if the team is serious about contending for the division crown once again.
Finally, Werner made his MLB Debut for the Padres this past season, making 8 starts and throwing a total of 40.1 innings. He went 2-3 with a 5.58 ERA in that span, adding a 1.463 WHIP. As Sean mentioned, Werner falls into that “throws left-handed, has pulse” type of category that will forever provide opportunities to pitchers and he isn’t expected to make a significant impact on the A’s this coming season.