The Oakland Athletics were working on a blockbuster trade that would have sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Arizona Diamondbacks for left-hander Tyler Skaggs, outfielder A.J. Pollock and more, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The key word in that lede is were, as the deal appears to have fallen apart. According to Rosenthal, neither team was "comfortable" with the trade as it was arranged, which caused them to throw the whole thing on the scrap heap.
While it's difficult to know how close the two sides got to getting that deal done, the failed trade does at least give some indication about who the clubs are willing to part with to get what they need this winter.
The A's always seem up to trading anyone at the right cost, and they've orchestrated three deals in the last two days, so the involvement of Cespedes isn't too shocking. Given Cespedes' solid production and his somewhat team-friendly salary of $21 million over the next two years, however, Oakland probably won't trade him unless it's completely overwhelmed by an offer.
Cespedes absolutely mashed in his rookie season, but some had trouble adjusting at the plate in his sophomore campaign. A late-season resurgence helped boost his power numbers a bit -- 26 dingers! -- but he still finished the year batting .240 with a Trumboesque sub-.300 OBP.
The Diamondbacks have been a frequent visitor to the trade-rumor mill this winter for big arms like David Price and Jeff Samardzija, so perhaps Skaggs and/or Pollock would make a better trade chip in a deal for one of those guys. It would be a bit odd to trade a young arm like Skaggs for another pitcher, but stranger things have happened.
Skaggs, 22, has been one of the top arms in Arizona's system for several years, but has yet to translate his minor-league success to the big-league level. In 13 starts for the D'Backs over the last two seasons, the southpaw owns a 5.43 ERA in 68 innings of work.
With Adam Eaton back at full health for the D'Backs, Pollock's departure seems the more likely of the two potential trade pieces, though it's anyone's guess given Arizona's strange approach to their outfielders the last few years. The 26-year-old Pollock hit a solid .269/.322/.409 with eight home runs in 2013, his first full big-league season.