Hill and Reddick go to the Dodgers in exchange for three pitching prospects

reddick-hill

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The A’s indicated on Sunday they might go for a contract extension with pitcher Rich Hill rather than trade him. Either that was a smoke screen or the extension talks did not go well because Hill is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hill is currently on the disabled listed due to a blister on his middle finger of his pitching hand. Hill was placed on the DL retroactive to July 20 on July 30. He can be reinstated on August 4. Hill was 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts for the Athletics.

Reddick had also been the focus of contract extension talks as he will become a free agent at the end of the season. Those contract talks were not fruitful or did not look promising as Reddick is also a Dodger as of today.

Reddick was hitting .296 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 68 games for the A’s this season. Reddick spent May 20 to June 27 on the disabled list with a fractured thumb. He had been seen as a trade target by several teams as the trade deadline approached. The Dodgers remained at the top of the list of suitors for Reddick’s services.

As has been the Athletics style, they will receive prospects in return for Hill and Reddick. In this case, all three prospects are pitchers.

cotton

Jharel Cotton is a 24-year old right-hand pitcher who has been playing at the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City this season. He had appeared in 22 games (16 starts) with a record of 8-5. His 4.90 ERA is high but earned run averages tend to run high in the Pacific Coast League.

Cotton has an above average fastball.The speed of that fastball changes depending on whether he is starting or relieving. As a starter, he throws the fastball in the upper 80’s. As a reliever, he ups the speed of his number one pitch into the 90’s.

Cotton has a plus-change up that he uses frequently as an out pitch. He also throws a cutter and a curve but both are considered below average. He really needs to develop a third pitch.

At 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Cotton’s size is more suited to being a relief pitcher rather than a starting pitcher in the major leagues. Cotton has been assigned to the A’s Triple-A team in Nashville.

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

Frankie Montas is a hard throwing right-hander who has seen some time in the big leagues with the Chicago White Sox. He appeared in seven games (two starts) for the Sox in 2015. Montas was traded to the Dodgers in a three-team trade that sent Trayce Thompson to Los Angeles.

Montas had rib surgery in February and has been limited to 16.0 innings of work in 2016. There have been conflicting reports about when Montas will be able to pitch again. Some reports have him pitching again in September and others have him not returning to action until the Arizona Fall League gets underway.

Montas is 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds. His size may be a part of his power as a pitcher but it is also a concern about how it may impact his health in the long run.

Montas has an excellent fastball with some sink that he throws consistently in the 90’s and will ramp up to 102 mph on occasion. His number two pitch is a slider that he throws in the mid-80’s. Scouts say Montas needs to develop a third pitch.

Montas gets into trouble when he overthrows his pitches. His fastball straightens out and his slider flattens out which makes both pitches less effective.

The big question that has followed Montas is whether he is a starter or reliever. The early takes are that the A’s will work to make Montas a starter.

Holmes

The final piece of this trade is a youngster. Grant Holmes is just 20-years old and is already in his third year of professional baseball. The Dodgers drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft with number 22 overall pick.

Holmes is a 6-foot-1, 215 pound, right-hand throwing pitcher. He has a fastball that runs up near 100 mph on a regular basis. Holmes also has a hard, sharp breaking curve ball. He also is working on what is considered a very promising change up.

Holmes is 8-4 with a 4.02 ERA for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga this season. He has appeared in 20 games (18 starts). Despite those impressive numbers as a starter, many experts see Holmes as a reliever by the time he reaches the big leagues.

The A’s have not announced what team Holmes will be assigned to in the organization.

 

 

 

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