While rumors have swirled over the past several days of the Oakland Athletics departing with starter Brett Anderson, which still hasn’t happened yet general manager Billy Beane continues to improve the A’s for 2014 as he has signed Scott Kazmir and traded for Jim Johnson, JoshLindblom and Craig Gentry. His latest move shored up the bullpen as Luke Gregerson a setup man came over from the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Seth Smith.
Gregerson spent all five seasons with the Padres compiling a record of 17-22 in 363 relief appearances, has saved 16 games and finished 59, has an era of 2.88, has struck out 352, walked 107, throw 347 innings and a whip of 1.092. His best season came in 2012 as he appeared in 77 games, finished 15, saved nine, threw 71.2 innings, struck out 72 while walking 21 and a whip of 1.088.
In Oakland he becomes the setup man for Johnson who has saved 101 games the past two seasons and has led the American League in saves in 2012 and 2013. It also likely pushes Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook to middle relief and gives the Athletics one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball.
For Smith he will get a chance to start in the outfield for San Diego as over the past two seasons he’s split time between being the designated hitter and out in the field and has always hit better when playing in the field. He started the 2013 season strong before struggling due to an eye astigmatism. He ended up hitting .253, with 93 hits, 27 doubles, eight home runs, 40 rbi and a obp of .329. Spent his first five seasons in the National League as a member of the Colorado Rockies.
The best season for Smith came the year before joining the A’s in 2011 where he hit .284, with 135 hits, 32 doubles, nine triples, 15 home runs, 59 rbi, 10 stolen bases and a obp of .347. With left fielder Carlos Quentin missing time due to injuries the past two seasons the move makes perfect sense for the Padresespecially with Smith’s familiarity with the National League West.