A's Acquire Homer Bailey From Royals To Bolster Rotation
The Athletics bolstered their ailing rotation on Sunday afternoon, acquiring righthander Homer Bailey from the Royals in exchange for Double-A shortstop Kevin Merrell. Bailey is in the last year of a contract signed with the Reds in 2014 that will pay him $23 million this season.
Kevin Merrell, SS
Team: Double-A Midland
Merrell was the Athletics’ supplemental first-round pick in 2017 out of South Florida. Since then, he’s earned a reputation as an athletic, middle-of-the-diamond player with 80-grade speed. He projects as a player who could be a fringy hitter with enough footspeed to scratch out hits other players might not get, but his bat is light and needs work to get there. His best-case scenario is a table-setting type of player at the top of a lineup. While his performance at Double-A Midland was ordinary—he hit .246/.292/.339 with two home runs and 13 steals in 82 games—he has at least been healthy after an injury-plagued full-season debut in 2018.
Reds, Dodgers Swing Holiday Megatrade
Both teams significantly reshaped their future in a deal that included Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.
Homer Bailey, RHP
After four straight miserable and injury-plagued seasons with the Reds, Bailey was immediately released by the Dodgers upon acquiring him in the offseason and signed a minor league deal with the Royals in February. He bounced back nicely for the Royals, going 7-6, 4.80 and striking out 8.1 batters per nine innings, his best mark since 2013. He adds needed depth to an Athletics rotation that lost ace Frankie Montas to an 80-game PED suspension. The A’s are a half-game up for the second American League wild card, and Bailey’s addition will help their quest to return to the postseason. He will be a free agent at the end of the year.