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Andy Behrens

Trade spin: Scott Hairston to the A's

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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Breakout fantasy asset Scott Hairston(notes) was dealt to the Oakland A's on Sunday for minor league pitchers Craig Italiano, Ryan Webb and a player to be named.

The 29-year-old Hairston is under control through 2011, and he entered the day with a .911 OPS and 10 homers in 55 games this season. (No small achievement in Petco Park). Hairston has swiped eight bases in nine attempts, too, although he wasn't a serious base-stealer in the minors.

By moving to Oakland, Hairston is trading one poor hitting environment for another and one low-scoring lineup for another. His rest-of-season fantasy value shouldn't change massively, and he'll continue to hit in a respectable lineup spot. (Second? Cleanup? Fifth? We'll soon see). Things get murky for Travis Buck(notes), since he's the Oakland outfielder most likely to lose at-bats.

Could this deal just be an appetizer while we wait for a Matt Holliday(notes) trade?

That's not too far-fetched, but the team isn't making any promises. Via the Oakland Tribune:



While some may speculate that adding Hairston makes it easier to withstand a possible trade of free-agent-to-be Matt Holliday, [assistant GM David] Forst said that wasn't the team's thinking.

"We made this deal independent of anything else that may or may not be going on," Forst said. "I'm not going to guess what or if anything comes next. (But) I wouldn't read too much into it as far as something else coming down."

The Padres have a coverage plan, and 22-year-old Kyle Blanks(notes) is a substantial piece. From MLB.com's Corey Brock:



For the time being, the Padres will use Chase Headley(notes) in left field, Tony Gwynn(notes) in center field and Will Venable(notes) and Kyle Blanks in right. Blanks, who also plays left field and first base, has been taking fly balls in right field the past three days before games.



That's relatively good news for those of us who've stashed Blanks in N.L.-only leagues. (More details on the big fella here). There's no reasonable way to spin the Hairston trade as good news for Adrian Gonzalez(notes), though. Baseball's worst offense just took a small step back. Of course it's not like Gonzalez's owners just realized that he wasn't particularly well-fortified; you saw that red flag when you drafted him.

The minor leaguers acquired by San Diego aren't fantasy relevant at the moment. Italiano will likely head to Single-A Lake Elsinore, while Webb will reportedly join the Padres in Arizona on Monday. The 23-year-old righty has appeared in 31 games at Triple-A this season, delivering a 4.34 ERA, two saves and 39 Ks in 45.2 innings.

Before you declare a winner in the trade, remember that there's a PTBNL involved. This thing can't yet be reasonably judged. The Pads are apparently excited about the nameless dude, too. This from the San Diego Union Tribune:

[GM Kevin] Towers said the "player to be named later," could be the key element of the trade for the Padres. Towers said the Padres can pick from two pitchers offered by the A’s. The deal will be completed by the end of July.

We know the A's have plenty of talented young arms, and MLB.com reports that one of the two possible PsTBNL has major league service time. Feel free to offer guesses in comments. Any pitcher moving from the A.L. into Petco gets a value bump.

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