It’s been a rather slow offseason in terms of signings, but teams have still been willing to swap players throughout the winter. The latest trade involved an AL Central rival as the Kansas City Royals sent reliever Ryan Buchter and 1B/DH Brandon Moss to Oakland in exchange for pitcher Jesse Hahn and a minor leaguer. On the Royals’ side, they’re clearing salary in order to make a run at bringing back first baseman Eric Hosmer, while the A’s have targeted yet another pop-up-inducing pitcher to take advantage of all that foul territory.
In spite of acquiring Moss, it doesn’t appear that the Athletics are interested in a continuation of this reunion. It’s already been acknowledged that Moss doesn’t really fit on the roster and thus it’s entirely possible that he will be calling a new ballpark his home before the 2018 season begins.
With interest in Mike Napoli earlier this offseason, it appeared that the Twins were poised to sign a 1B/DH to pair with Joe Mauer. Though that deal never materialized, now it’s possible that the Twins could call the Athletics about a trade involving Moss. Obtaining Moss would likely push Kennys Vargas off the roster, but Vargas hasn’t proven that he can provide above-average production yet.
Even if the Twins are willing to part with Vargas, there are still other obstacles with bringing in Moss. First, he’s a lefthanded hitter, so he doesn’t complement Joe Mauer well. Second, Moss has struggled as a hitter over the past three seasons (94 wRC+ since 2015). His approach at the plate to hit the ball high and hard leaves him susceptible to low batting averages, so even with an ability to walk over 9% of the time, his value takes an enormous hit if he’s unable to hit for power. However, the Twins considered signing Napoli earlier this offseason, and with having a similar offensive profile to Moss, it’s possible that they’re okay with the low-average, high-power output. Plus, Moss can play the corner outfield in a pinch, making him a little more valuable than Napoli.
I don’t know if it’s necessarily a good idea to bring in Moss, but considering the Twins looked at Napoli about a month ago, it wouldn’t surprise me if they call the A’s to express interest in Moss. With a nonzero chance that he could outperform Vargas in 2018, I think it would be worth kicking the tires to see what it would take to acquire him.