CLEVELAND — The Indians addressed the need for more power in their lineup. Now Brandon Moss has to provide it.
Cleveland finalized a trade â€” the first of the winter meetings â€” that has been in the works for weeks on Monday by acquiring Moss, a first baseman/outfielder and All-Star last season, from the Oakland Athletics for minor league infielder Joey Wendle.
The 31-year-old Moss batted .234 with a 25 homers and 81 RBIs in a career-high 147 games for the A's. The left-handed hitter drew 67 walks and scored 70 runs. Moss hit .268 with 21 homers in the first half of the season to earn his first All-Star selection, but a nagging hip problem cut into his production over the final months.
On Oct. 21, Moss underwent an operation performed in Nashville by Dr. Thomas Byrd. Moss told the San Francisco Chronicle that Byrd was prepared to perform microfracture surgery but all that he needed was a labrum repair and cartilage cleanup, which should make his rehab somewhat easier.
Despite the hip issue, Moss, who has also played for Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, finished among the AL leaders in homers, RBIs, extra-base hits and slugging percentage. He played 67 games at first base, 56 in left field and 34 in right for the wild-card winning A's.
“The addition of Brandon Moss provides our offense with a proven run-producer and power bat for the heart of our order,” said Indians general Chris Antonetti, who is at the winter meetings in San Diego. “Brandon not only has great power, but his defensive versatility and personality also complement the team culture Tito has helped establish over the past two years.”
Moss is eligible for arbitration for the second time after making $4.1 million last season. His arrival could take away at-bats from Nick Swisher and David Murphy.
Wendle batted .253 at Double-A Akron last season.
The A's traded another all-star last month, sending third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays for third baseman Brett Lawrie, left-hander Sean Nolin, right-hander Kendall Graveman and minor league shortstop Franklin Barreto.