The Royals have acquired outfielder Billy Burns from the Athletics for outfielder Brett Eibner, according to a team announcement.
Kansas City was thought to be a seller in advance of Monday’s deadline, but appears to have made a long-term addition in Burns, who is under control through 2020. Oakland is selling pieces, though Burns’ name was never mentioned in rumors.
Burns, 26, has struggled to a .234/.270/.303 line while stealing 14 bases for Oakland this year, just a year after hitting .294/.334/.392 with 26 steals and finishing fifth in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year.
Burns, who will be optioned to Triple-A Omaha, gives Kansas City an outfield option behind Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando at present, and gives the club a long-term option to replace Cain, who has been rumored as trade bait in recent reports and is a free agent after next season.
Eibner made his major-league debut for Kansas City this season and has hit .231/.286/.423 with three homers in 26 games for the Royals. The former 2nd-round pick (2010) was ranked by MLB.com as the 28th-best prospect in Kansas City’s system, and is thought of as a five-tool player and late developer at 27 years old. He will likely get regular playing time in Oakland with Burns gone.