An otherwise painfully sloppy Angels-Rangers game took an interesting twist Alberto Callaspo was removed from the game half way through. As it turns out, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for infielder Grant Green.
On first blush, it is hard not to like this deal for the Angels. Callaspo was never a big part of their plans and they have semi-viable options to replace him in Luis Jimenez and maybe even Chris Nelson (who was reportedly pulled from his game with Salt Lake at the exact same time as Callaspo). In return they get a prospect who is major league ready and capable of manning several positions giving them options for other trades with their infield.
The common belief is that Green will take over at second base in an as of yet unconsummated move to send Howie Kendrick out in favor of starting pitching. That may prove to be the case, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. An important thing to keep in mind with Green is that while people like his bat, he has been something of trainwreck defensively at second, so he could wind up at third base either now, should the Halos hold onto Kendrick, or years from now when Taylor Lindsey or Alex Yarbrough are ready to take over. That sounds like a negative, but having that kind of flexibility is never a bad thing.
Wherever Green ends up, this is strong return for a player like Callaspo. Green is a top five prospect in a strong Oakland system and ready to play now either as a starter or as a utility guy. One would imagine he'll play a lot one way or another the rest of the way so that the Angels can evaluate him. If the former first rounder reaches his potential with the bat, he should easily out-hit Callaspo and even possibly put up better numbers than Kendrick too. The defense is always going to be a problem, but if he can hit .280/.325/.440, then you can live with that no matter where on the infield he ends up.
In a worst case scenario, the Angels saved about $6 million and got a guy who should at least be a decent utility player for their beleaguered bench. That still seems like a good trade to me.
The only thing that bothers me about the move is that it feels like the Angels pulled a bit of a fast one on Billy Beane. That almost always means that it was the Angels getting screwed, not the A's. In fact, there are already rumors that Beane has Callaspo lined up to be flipped to another destination, so that should make for some good theater if he somehow extracts an even better return than Green. That might just be my paranoia talking though.
With this trade now in the books, tomorrow will be full of intrigue as we all wait on the edge of our seats for the other shoe to drop and Howie Kendrick to be traded… or not.