The A’s have announced that they received catcher John Jaso from the Seattle Mariners in a three-way deal that sent pitching prospect A.J. Cole and RHP Blake Treinen to the Nationals and Michael Morse to the M’s.
Jaso played in 108 games for the Mariners last season and over 361 plate appearances he had a .276/.394/.456 slash line with a .372 wOBA, a 143 wRC+ and a 2.7 fWAR. He also hit 10 HR and had an .850 OPS.
The team hasn’t said yet, but many have speculated that the left-hander will platoon with Derek Norris. Over his three year career (and 897 plate appearances) he has a .270/.368/.421 slash line against right-handed pitching with a .350 wOBA and 125 wRC+. Against left-handed pitching he has a .164/.302/.230 slash line over 151 career plate appearances. Derek Norris, on the other hand, had a .209/.269/.349 slash line against left-handed pitching last season over 93 plate appearances.
Jaso will be under team control for the next three years and is in his first year of arbitration. In a corresponding move, the A’s have designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment to make room for Jaso on the 40-man roster.
Personally, I am not overwhelmed by this move for the A’s (nor am I underwhelmed). I do understand that they are in the “win now” mode, but I still feel it came at an expensive price. Cole, who was acquired from the Washington Nationals in the Gio Gonzalez trade, struggled in Single-A Sacramento last season. He posted a 0-7 record with a 7.82 ERA over 38 innings, but his 4.99 FIP & .405 BABIP indicate he had ran into some bad luck. When he was demoted to Burlington, Cole posted a 6-3 record over 95.2 innings with a 2.07 ERA, a 2.74 FIP & 2.91 BABIP.
Blake Treinen was drafted by the A’s in the 2011 draft and spent the entire 2012 season in Single-A Stockton last season. He pitched in 24 games (15 started) and posted a 7-7 record over 103 innings with a 4.37 ERA, a 3.59 FIP and a .330 BABIP.