Demoted Milone seeks greener pastures

The A’s acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel on Independence Day, making their rotation one for the ages.

Apparently, at least one displaced pitcher has an issue with it.

Ken Rosenthal reported Monday that A’s pitcher Tommy Milone requested a trade, after being sent down to Triple-A Sacramento for non-performance related issues.

Milone was one of two starters displaced by the deal, the other being Drew Pomeranz. Both had been more than serviceable on the back-end of Oakland’s rotation, and both could help Oakland acquire infield depth if dealt.

One potential snag, at least for the A’s, is how much they value pitching depth. No doubt, with the extreme number of pitchers requiring Tommy John surgery earlier in the season, their reasons are warranted.

Also warranted are any grievances Milone would have after being demoted posting a 6-3 record, 3.55 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 16 starts as Oakland’s third starter.

A surge of excellence from Jesse Chavez made Milone the team’s fourth starter on a staff that ranks second in ERA and first in quality starts in the American League.

Milone would be welcome on any other starting rotation, and would boost the playoff chances for any contender. Teams that make sense are the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and Atlanta Braves.

All of the aforementioned are within four games of first place, and in highly competitive divisions. They are also National League teams, since it seems unlikely the A’s would trade Milone to a team they’d have to face again.

The 27-year-old southpaw is also desirable because he is pre-arbitration eligible, in other words, very inexpensive to retain.

Potential destinations would be narrowed down if Oakland began shopping Milone, and what the team wants in return becomes public. Should the A’s covet a top prospect, the Giants would almost certainly be eliminated.

According to Baseball Prospectus, the Pirates hold the best farm system of any team mentioned here. The Cardinals follow closely behind, with all other potential suitors outside of the top 15 in baseball.

The A’s glaring weakness is at second base, but they could have a hard time getting any impact infielder for Milone. And no, David Price is not going to be dealt for Milone.

Before acquiring Samardzija and Hammel, Oakland asked about Price, and offered shortstop Addison Russell. Regarded as the top middle-infield prospect in the game, Russell was a huge trade chip. The Tampa Bay Rays, who hold the rights to Price, respectfully declined the offer.

So if Russell can’t get Price, Milone surely can’t.


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