Meet the new Fuld, same as the old Fuld. It wasn’t exactly a blockbuster trade on the scale of Lester-for-Cespedes, but the A’s added outfield depth this morning by reacquiring utility outfielder Sam Fuld from the Minnesota Twins for left-handed starter Tommy Milone. Fuld began the season in Oakland as a backup, but was designated for assignment by the team in late April, a victim of a jam-packed outfield. Milone, meanwhile, had requested a trade following an assignment to AAA, and the A’s honored that after his role was further marginalized by this morning’s acquisition of Jon Lester.
Fuld will slide right in and pick up where he left off as a fourth outfielder in Oakland. Injuries to Coco Crisp and Craig Gentry, and the trade of Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox, had the A’s scrambling for a quick fix in their outfield. Fuld offers speed and an excellent glove, and should provide decent value as a sometime-starter and late-inning defensive replacement, especially if Gentry is out longer than expected. Fuld was hitting a very solid .274/.370/.354 in 195 plate appearances with the Twins, a rebuilding team who had little long-term use for a utility outfielder of Fuld’s ilk. I wrote a bit more extensively about the Legend of Sam Fuld this past offseason.
Milone’s tenure with the A’s ended a bit acrimoniously. After being acquired in the Gio Gonzalez trade in the 2011-12 offseason, Milone won 25 games in his first two seasons as the fifth starter in the Oakland rotation. After putting up a 3.55 ERA in sixteen starts this season, Milone was unceremoniously optioned to AAA Sacramento when he was pushed out of the rotation by the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs. Milone requested a trade after the demotion, and the A’s finally complied this morning as the non-waiver trade deadline loomed. Milone should immediately provide a boost for the pitching-starved Twins, and should find success throwing at pitcher-friendly Targer Field.