The Athletics remained active in the offseason trade marketplace, swapping 2010 first-round outfielder Michael Choice and low Class A second baseman Chris Bostick to the Rangers for center fielder Craig Gentry and reliever Josh Lindblom, a pair of big leaguers who can help the 2014 team.
With this trade, the Athletics have traded three successive first-round picks this year, dealing 2008 first-rounder Jemile Weeks (for Jim Johnson), 2009 top pick Grant Green (for Alberto Callaspo) and Choice (for Craig Gentry). They also parted ways with 2007 first-round righthander James Simmons, a minor league free agent.
Michael Choice, of
Age: 24. Bats: R.
Career Transactions: Selected by Athletics in first round (10th overall) of 2010 draft; signed July 29, 2010.
The best power hitter in the Athletics system heading into 2013—and the organization’s No. 2 prospect—Choice reestablished his credentials by slugging 14 home runs at Triple-A Sacramento in 2013 to earn a September callup. As Choice told BA in October, “The ball doesn’t really fly (in Sacramento). I hit more home runs on the road—11 on the road and three at (home).” Scouts expect his power to play in the majors, and he can play all three outfield posts with enough arm for right field.
As an added bonus, Choice is an Arlington boy through and through. He attended Mansfield Timberview High and played college ball at Texas-Arlington.
Chris Bostick, 2b
Age: 20. Bats: R.
Career Transactions: Selected by Athletics in 44th round of 2011 draft; signed July 28, 2011.
A candidate for this year’s Midwest League Top 20 Prospects list, Bostick fell just short of making the cut, but that doesn’t mean he lacks potential. Just 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, he has enough potential with the bat to profile as more than a utility player, and he showed good power at Beloit by swatting 47 extra-base hits in 129 games and ranking third in the MWL with 89 RBIs.
Craig Gentry, cf
Age: 30. Bats: R.
Remaining Commitment: First-time arbitration-eligible for 2014 ($501,000 salary in 2013).
Gentry rates as one of the majors’ best defensive center fielders and figures to see time at least in a platoon in Oakland. He has done especially well against lefties, hitting .288/.376/.399 for his career. He also stole 24 bases in 27 tries in 2013.
Josh Lindblom, rhp
Age: 26. Bats: R.
Service time: 1.100. Options used: 2/3.
Acquired from the Phillies for Michael Young in December 2012, Lindblom could compete for a spot in Oakland’s bullpen, which has lost Grant Balfour but gained Jim Johnson.