Padres New GM Completes Kouzmanoff Deal With A's





The Deal
The Padres and Athletics pulled off a four-player swap in which each side received a veteran and a near-ready prospect. San Diego shipped third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and Double-A second baseman Eric Sogard to Oakland for outfielder Scott Hairston and Triple-A corner outfielder Aaron Cunningham, who now has been traded three times before his 24th birthday. It's new Padres general manager Jed Hoyer's first trade.

Kouzmanoff boasts steady hands at third base, having set the National League record for the hot corner last year with his .990 fielding percentage. The Padres gave Hairston his first shot at regular play as an outfielder back in 2007, but he apparently did not care for wearing white cleats. He hit just .236/.262/.391 after being traded to the A's last summer. He plays a good-but-not-great center field and can slide easily to a corner.

Both Kouzmanoff and Hairston are low-walk, low-on-base options who hit for above-average power, particularly against lefthanded pitchers. Kouzmanoff sports an .870 OPS versus southpaws (530 plate appearances) and Hairston checks in at .867 (519 PAs).
 
Padres Acquire
Aaron Cunningham, rf
Age: 23. Position: RF (47 G), LF (43 G), CF (5 G).
Born: April 24, 1986 in Anchorage.
Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 205. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Everett (Wash.) CC.
Career Transactions: Selected by White Sox in sixth round of 2005 draft; signed June 10, 2005 ... Traded by White Sox to Diamondbacks for 2B Danny Richar, June 16, 2007 ... Traded by Diamondbacks with OF Carlos Gonzalez, 1B V. Chris Carter and LHPs Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith to Athletics for RHPs Dan Haren and Connor Robertson, Dec. 14, 2007.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Sacramento (PCL) AAA .302 83 334 62 101 24 1 11 48 33 74 11 .372 .479
Oakland (AL) MLB .151 23 53 6 8 2 0 1 6 3 16 0 .211 .245

Cunningham combines modest speed and power into a compact frame, and he's the type of player who can contribute in many areas without standing out in any one. He throws well but lacks the pure range and instincts to hold down center field on an everyday basis. Though he has a good grasp of the strike-zone, Cunningham swings and misses enough to limit his upside. With the Padres he could fit as a reserve outfielder, perhaps a righty-hitting complement to Will Venable in right field and a fill-in for Tony Gwynn Jr. in center. But as long as first baseman Kyle Blanks roams the outfield while waiting for a chance at his natural position, Cunningham receives no guarantee of regular playing time in San Diego.
 
Scott Hairston, lf/cf
Age: 29. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: 2 arbitration years prior to free agency ($1.25 million in '09).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Arizona /
San Diego (NL)
2007 .243 107 263 37 64 18 2 11 36 26 55 2 .313 .452
San Diego (NL) 2008 .248 112 326 42 81 18 3 17 31 28 84 3 .312 .479
San Diego (NL) /
Oakland (AL)
2009 .265 116 430 50 114 27 2 12 64 25 83 11 .307 .456
3-Year Totals .254 335 1019 129 259 63 7 45 131 79 222 16 .310 .462
 
Athletics Acquire
Eric Sogard, 2b
Age: 23. Position: 2B (107 G).
Born: May 22, 1986 in Phoenix.
Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 180. Bats: L. Throws: R.
School: Arizona State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Padres in second round of 2007 draft; signed June 30, 2007.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
San Antonio (TL) AA .293 117 457 79 134 25 3 6 51 58 47 10 .370 .400

The quiet leader of the infield, Sogard consistently turns in good at-bats—he compiled a 162-to-141 walk-to-strikeout ratio as a Padre—and hits to all fields, but he doesn't meet the power or defensive standard of a regular big league second baseman. His lack of first-step quickness and agility on the pivot limit his effectiveness at the keystone, and his long arm stroke rules out a switch to the left side of the infield. Sogard will advance to Triple-A with the A's, where he'll vie for playing time at Sacramento with Adrian Cardenas. Now that Eric Patterson has taken on a utility role with Oakland, Sogard will have to outplay Cardenas and 2008 first-rounder Jemile Weeks to win the big league job outright.
 
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3b
Age: 28. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: 3 arbitration years prior to free agency ($432,000 in '09).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
San Diego (NL) 2007 .275 145 484 57 133 30 2 18 74 32 94 1 .329 .457
San Diego (NL) 2008 .260 154 624 71 162 31 4 23 84 23 139 0 .299 .433
San Diego (NL) 2009 .255 141 529 50 135 31 1 18 88 27 106 1 .302 .420
3-Year Totals .263 440 1637 178 430 92 7 59 246 82 339 2 .309 .436

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