Both Oakland and Tampa Bay have been quiet since the end of the Winter Meetings, but the two clubs completed a five-player deal on Saturday afternoon. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics acquired infielders Yunel Esobar and Ben Zobrist in exchange for John Jaso, shortstop Daniel Robertson, and outfielder Boog Powell.
Tampa Bay will also receive $1.5 million in cash in the deal, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Zobrist, 33, has been linked to a handful of teams since the Rays made it known they were willing to trade him. He has spent his entire nine-year career with Tampa Bay, and is a versatile option who can play second base, shortstop, and right field. In 146 games with the Rays last season, Zobrist posted a .272/.354/.395 batting line to complement ten home runs and 52 RBIs.
Escobar, 32, did not have as successful of a 2014 campaign, posting a .258/.324/.340 line in addition to seven home runs and 39 RBIs.
Oakland acquired Jaso from the Rays two seasons ago, and the veteran catcher is returning to an organization he is familiar with. He batted .264 with nine home runs in 99 games last season, and helped the Athletics reach the American League Wild Card game where they ultimately fell to the Royals.
Robertson was one of Oakland's top prospects who batted .310 with 15 home runs with the A's Single-A affiliate last season. Powell posted a .343/.451/.435 line in 2014 and is a career .317 minor league hitter.
The Athletics dealt Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson, and Jeff Samardzija to this point in the offseason as the organization is looking to rebuild. However, the squad also signed Billy Butler to a three-year, $30 million contract. Oakland's infield has notably changed this offseason, with Butler, Ike Davis, Zobrist, Escobar, and Brett Lawrie now in the mix.
After losing both Manager Joe Maddon to the Cubs and General Manager Andrew Friedman to the Dodgers, Tampa Bay is seeking payroll stability. The team is looking to decrease its payroll between $15 and $20 million in 2015, but feels it can still remain competitive with a solid pitching staff. The Rays also officially announced they signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a one-year contract on Friday.
Both the Rays and Athletics are smaller market teams, but are still looking to remain competitive in 2015.