With January coming to an end, news has started to finally ramp up with the Royals. Out of the blue, a trade was announced with the Oakland Athletics, sending 1B/DH Brandon Moss and LHP Ryan Buchter out and bringing in RHP Jesse Hahn and RHP prospect Heath Fillmyer.
From the early looks of it, I’m a big fan of this trade. Fillmyer is a guy that already becomes one of the better arms in the organization and should slide right into your top 30 (was Oakland’s 18th ranked prospect).
Jesse Hahn is another interesting case too. A former prospect in the Rays and Padres organizations, Hahn turned heads in his rookie season in 2014, posting a 3.07 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and 8.6 K/9 in 73 innings. After putting up another stellar season with the Athletics the following season, he struggled with a rough season in 2016, being demoted after posting a 6.02 ERA in nine starts to begin the year. Though the surface numbers didn’t look great this year, putting up a 5.30 ERA, Hahn struck out 55 and walked 27 in 69.2 innings, good for a 3.62 FIP. The Royals are buying low on this arm, and if all goes right, they could build his stock back up and try to flip him later.
The Royals continue to do a good job of adding up pitching depth this offseason, something they seriously lacked last year. Hahn figures to contend for a rotation spot in Spring Training, while Fillmyer should be heading to either Northwest Arkansas or Omaha.
There could also be other implications to this trade, as the Royals now all of a sudden have a void at first base with Spring Training now only a few weeks away. Could this trade be a prelude to an Eric Hosmer signing?