Pirates Trade Arb-Eligible Chris Resop To Athletics

The Deal
With the deadline to tender major league contracts to players on the 40-man roster looming, the Pirates sent righthanded reliever Chris Resop—eligible for salary arbitration for the second time—to the Athletics in exchange for high Class A righty Zach Thornton.

If Thornton develops, he could aspire to eventually fill a role like Resop fills right now. However, Thornton pitched in high Class A this year; at the same age Resop featured significantly more arm strength and had spent parts of two seasons in the big leagues.

Pirates Acquire
Zach Thornton, rhp

Age: 24. Born: May 19, 1988 in Oak Park, Calif.

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 213.

Bats: R. Throws: R.

School: Oregon.

Career Transactions: Selected by Athletics in 23rd round of 2010 draft; signed June 14, 2010.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Stockton (CAL) HiA 4 0 4.53 48 0 16 54 57 33 27 5 19 70 1.42

With a funky delivery and low three-quarters arm slot, Thornton generates a good deal of deception that helps his 90-92 mph fastball play up. But Thornton’s projection is limited because his secondary stuff is mediocre. He projects as a potential middle reliever.

Athletics Acquire
Chris Resop, rhp

Age: 29. Remaining Commitment: Arbitration-eligible for two seasons, 2013-14 ($850,000 salary in 2012).

Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Pittsburgh (NL) 2012 1 4 3.91 61 0 1 74 81 35 32 6 24 46 1.43
3-Year Totals 6 8 4.11 160 0 2 164 169 78 75 15 67 151 1.44

A two-way high school star who tried hitting for two years as a pro before moving to the mound, Resop made it to the big leagues because of his powerful right arm. He doesn’t hit 95 mph as much as he used to, and his strikeout rate took a dip in 2012, but the cutter he added this season helped him induce more weak contact. He has been a useful middle reliever for several years, a role he’ll likely continue to fill in 2013.

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