|Photo from NBC|
The Oakland Athletics have acquired RHP Homer Bailey from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for IF Kevin Merrell.
Bailey is not a very serviceable starting pitcher, but he is having his best season since 2014. Also, he is hot as of late, with a 2.48 ERA in his last five starts, dating back to June 13. The only American League pitchers with a minimum of 25 innings pitched since that day with a lower ERA are recently traded Andrew Cashner, Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, and the A's very own Mike Fiers (per Elias Sports Bureau). Also, he is a bargain, as he is getting paid at the league minimum, and the A's are only paying him about $250k. The Dodgers are paying the remainder of his salary, as they acquired him from the Reds this offseason, and immediately DFA'd him.
Bailey, 33, has a 4.80 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 90 innings for the Royals this season. In his MLB career for the Royals and Cincinnati Reds, Bailey has a 4.58 ERA with 1082 strikeouts in 1320.1 innings.
I love this trade for the Royals. They trade Bailey, who was a Spring Training invitee on a minor league deal earning the league minimum, and has only pitched well as of late. In return, they get Merrell, the A's 17th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, which is a steal for a player of Bailey's caliber. Merrell has good speed, something the Royals prioritize. He was a first round pick, 33rd overall, by the A's in 2017. He also is already at AA, and as GM Dayton Moore pointed out, he doesn't need to be put on the 40 man roster for two more seasons before becoming Rule 5 Draft eligible.
Merrell, 23, has a .246 average with two homers, 34 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 318 Plate Appearances for AA Midland. In his three year minor league career, he has a .277 average with four homers, 68 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 778 Plate Appearances.