Analyzing Every Player In The Athletics-Nationals Josh Harrison, Yan Gomes Trade
With the Nationals in full ‘everything must go’ mode, the A’s stepped into line, acquiring a pair of veteran role players ahead of their postseason push.
All three players headed to Washington were trending up in today's Oakland A's midseason Top 30 Prospects update. Millas jumped a dozen spots, ranking No. 13 in the system, while Guasch entered the list for the first time at No. 30, and Shuman wasn't far off.
It’s the third trade of the week for the A’s, who also acquired OF Starling Marte from the Marlins and LHP Andrew Chafin from the Cubs. They’ve traded four top 30 prospects to do so—OF Greg Deichmann, RHP Daniel Palencia, Millas and Guasch—as well as former top prospect Jesus Luzardo in the Marlins deal.
Drew Millas, C
Millas has long been touted for his catch-and-throw defensive ability dating back to before Oakland drafted him in the seventh round of the 2019 draft out of Missouri State. But a right elbow injury and blood clot issues delayed his debut, and the A’s got their first extended look at Millas last fall in instructional league. The defensive tools remained evident: Millas has an above-average arm even after the elbow injury and is an agile defender, giving him the floor of a big league backup. Millas is a switch-hitter, although he looks more comfortable from the left side, and he has a very mature approach and average hitting ability. Millas’ below-average in-game power is limiting, and he’ll have to prove he can withstand the rigors of catching a full season, but he has second-division regular potential.
Richard Guasch, RHP
Catch Guasch on the right night and he can look filthy. He works with a four-pitch mix headlined by a mid-90s heater with some late cutting action and a dastardly slider that projects as plus. He also throws a changeup that has late fade away from righties, and can mix in an average curveball as well. The result is plenty of swings and misses (26.8% strikeout rate). But there are other times where Guasch’s command wavers, especially with his fastball, and he struggles to find the strike zone with any consistency. Guasch has a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter if he can tighten his strike throwing. Otherwise, he could be utilized in a multi-inning tandem role, which he worked from at times in High-A Lansing this year alongside RHP Shohei Tomioka.
Seth Shuman, RHP
Shuman isn’t overpowering, working with a low-90s heater, a vertical breaking ball and a changeup, but he knows how to spot all three pitches, walking just 15 batters in 56 innings this year while emerging as High-A Lansing’s most reliable pitcher. The A’s liked Shuman’s pitchability and makeup and his fastball has decent spin rates. But his arsenal figures to be tested against upper-minors hitting and he doesn’t have much room for error.
Josh Harrison, UTIL
Harrison’s career appeared to be at a crossroads following a 2019 season where he posted a .484 OPS with the Tigers in limited action and was released by August. But he’s enjoyed a revival in Washington, and this year is hitting .294/.366/.434. Harrison doesn’t hit the ball hard, but he hits it often, posting a 13.9% strikeout rate this year. Harrison’s versatility should allow A’s manager Bob Melvin to deploy him at a number of positions and he can serve as a security blanket, as 2B Jed Lowrie and SS Elvis Andrus have checkered recent injury histories and utility-type Chad Pinder has struggled to stay healthy this year.
Yan Gomes, C
Gomes has quietly been one of baseball’s better offensive catchers, hitting .271/.323/.454 with a 115 OPS+ as Washington’s starting catcher. He won’t supplant Sean Murphy as Oakland’s primary catching option, but his bat is an upgrade over Aramis Garcia and Gomes is a quality defender as well.