The Minnesota Twins Add a Capable Starter In Tommy Milone
Tommy Milone had a 3.55 ERA over 16 starts this season, but the Oakland Athletics sent him to Triple-A earlier this month when they acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs. The 27-year old left-hander reportedly asked for a trade soon after, and after acquiring Jon Lester from Boston the A’s sent Milone to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in exchange for outfielder Sam Fuld.
Fuld was with Oakland earlier this season before being put on waivers and claimed by Minnesota, and he hit .274 with a .370 on-base percentage and 12 stolen bases in 53 games with the Twins. Fuld is just a .240 career hitter, and little more than a fourth outfielder, but he is in line for significant playing time in Oakland with Yoenis Cespedes going to Boston in the Lester deal and center fielders Coco Crisp (neck) and Craig Gentry (right hand) banged up right now.
Milone posted a 3.84 ERA over 442.2 innings with Oakland over the last three seasons, and he has a 6.5 K/9 rate and a 2.0 BB/9 rate for his career. He is clearly not a budding ace at this point, but the fact Milone is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and will not be able to hit free agency until after the 2017 season had to carry some appeal for Twins’ general manager Terry Ryan.
Fuld is in the midst of the most productive stretch of his career, with a .358 batting average (24-for-67) and a .476 on-base percentage in July, so the Twins were able to sell high on him and get a mid-rotation starter who has a chance to stick around in return. That is a big win in my opinion, even if Milone was the odd-man out in Oakland and basically had to be moved.