The Oakland Athletics traded versatile slugger Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians on Dec. 8 for Double-A infield prospect Joe Wendle.
Brandon Moss is now a member of the Cleveland Indians.
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The Oakland Athletics traded Moss to the Indians for Double-A infield prospect Joe Wendle on Dec. 8, per MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, who says the Indians really wanted to add "an impact bat to the heart of their lineup." Rumors about Moss joining Cleveland intensified in the past few days.
Now, it is confirmed.
Bastian poted a statement from Indians general manager Chris Antonetti which reads,"The addition of Brandon Moss provides our offense with with a proven run-producer and power bat. Brandon not only has great power, but his defensive versatility and personality also complement the team culture [manager Terry Francona] has helped establish over the past two years."
Moss is arbitration-eligible and "could earn betweeen $6.5 million and $7.5 million for 2015," per The Northeast Ohio Media Group's Paul Hoynes. He will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 MLB season.
Moss, who played for Francona during the 2007 and 2008 MLB seasons, told MLB Network Radio (via MLB.com) on Monday that the trade to the Indians did not surprise him:
"I don't think I was very surprised [by the trade]. Unlike a lot of trades, this one had kind of been talked about for a while, I guess, in the media. People read things and they call and ask you about it or text you about it, so you start following it a little bit.
"You know, it goes on that long, you're wondering if it has any merit to it or not, but you just kinda wait and see what happens. When it happened today, I was actually for some reason not very surprised. But I'm definitely excited to be part of that group over there, for sure.
"It's a very exciting group. There's a great lineup. That's exciting, to go into a good lineup. I've been part of one for the past three years. I feel like this team I'm going to is a lot like the team I've been playing on the past three years, were it's a lot of young guys with a core group who are coming together and moving toward something special."
Bastian notes a potential logjam on the Indians roster with Moss, Nick Swisher, David Murphy and Ryan Raburn in the right and left fielder positions. Moss can play either position plus first base. He can also be a designated hitter for Cleveland.
Moss started off strong in 2014, and was even voted to the All-Star Game in Minneapolis in July. However, his right hip injury was a factor why he batted just .167 over the last two months of last season. He eventually underwent surgery on Oct. 21. He should be ready to do running drills by January, per Bastian.
In a separate Cleveland.com update, Moss told Hoynes via phone interview on Monday that he doing well physically. He said, "Physically, I feel great. In the surgery, they didn't have to do quite as much as they thought they needed to do initially, which is always a good thing."
The 31-year-old Moss has registered 468 hits, 91 home runs and 298 RBIs on a .248 batting average in 625 regular-season games for the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland Athletics, per ESPN stats.
As for Wendle, Bastian points out he was selected by the Indians in the sixth round of the First-Year Player Draft two years ago. He had 28 home runs, 155 RBIs on a .292 batting average during a three-year stint with Cleveland's farm system.
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