|Athletics general manager Billy Beane apparently can’t stop trading for outfielders. In his third such deal in six days, he swapped him most recently acquired outfielder, Ryan Langerhans, to the Nationals for another one in Chris Snelling on Wednesday.|
|The Big Leaguers|
|Washington pirated the 25-year-old Snelling from the Mariners in a December trade for Jose Vidro. Snelling showed precocious hitting ability from the day he signed out of Australia as a 17-year-old and batted .312/.396/.476 in the minors, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Though he reached the majors at age 20, he hasn’t had an injury-free season since 1999 and has had repeated problems with his left knee. That has cut into his speed and defensive ability, but if he can stay on the field he projects as a left fielder who can hit for average with gap power. He was off to a slow start with the Nationals, batting just .204 with one homer and seven RBIs in 24 games. He’s a career .229/.345/.383 hitter with six homers and 19 RBIs in 201 at-bats over 83 big league contests. |
Langerhans, 27, has begun 2007 in even worse fashion. He went 0-for-4 in two games with the A’s after joining them Sunday in a trade for a player to be named, dropping his season totals to .063/.193/.083 with one RBI in 22 contests. He has struck out in 18 of his 46 at-bats. He fans too much to hit for much of an average, but he has some power and speed and has the range and arm strength to play anywhere in the outfield. Langerhans, who will be arbitration-eligible after the season, is a career .241/.336/.377 hitter with 15 homers and 71 RBIs in 298 big league games.
|If he can figure out a way to stay healthy, Snelling offers a lot more offensive upside and has a better chance to stick as a starter than Langerhans does.|