After days of speculation, the Indians have completed a trade to acquire Brandon Moss from the Athletics in exchange for infielder Joey Wendle, as first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Moss, an All-Star last season, is the second key Oakland position player to be dealt this winter, joining Josh Donaldson, who was sent to the Blue Jays. The team is expected to trade a few more key pieces by the end of the offseason, with Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir among the trade candidates.
Moss joins a crowded first base/outfield mix for the Indians, who already have Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, David Murphy and Ryan Raburn in the outfield as well as Carlos Santana and Nick Swisher as options at first base. Moss could become the team's designated hitter, especially if they trade Nick Swisher at some point this offseason. Swisher could be a fit for the Yankees, according to sources, and can block trades to one club: the Blue Jays.
Moss, 31, hit .234/.334/.438 with 25 home runs and 81 RBI in 147 games for Oakland in 2014, and is considered a bit of a risk after undergoing hip surgery earlier this offseason. He is controllable for two more seasons, and is in his second season of arbitration-eligibility.
Wendle, 24, has the ability to play both second base and third base and spent the bulk of his season with Double-A Akron. hitting 253/.311/.414 with eight home runs and 50 RBI in 87 games. He was not ranked among Baseball America's top ten Indians' prospects after the season, but MLB.com currently has him as ninth in the team's system. Wendle is thought of as a strong hitter who projects as a second baseman at the major league level.