Athletics Acquire John Jaso in 3-Team Trade; Solidify Status as Buyers

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 16, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 28:  John Jaso #27 of the Seattle Mariners in action against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum on September 28, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics acquired catcher John Jaso from the Seattle Mariners as a part of a three team trade. The A's gave up minor league pitchers A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen and a player to be named to the Washington Nationals.

Jaso just hit for a career-high .276 batting average in 2012 to go with his career-high on base percentage of .394. The film Moneyball educated everyone that the A's like players who get on base.

The Jaso trade does two things for the A's.

First of all, it gives them a proven veteran behind the plate that they have lacked since trading away Kurt Suzuki last season. Jaso is 29 years old and won't hit the age 30 milestone until Sept. 19.  

Jaso's career batting average of .255 is far from spectacular, but he is an upgrade behind the plate over the platoon of George Kottaras and his career .220 BA and Derek Norris' .201 career BA.

Second, the trade solidifies the Oakland A's status as a team seeking a championship by trading for an upgrade rather than acquiring prospects in exchange for their best players.

Acquiring Jaso as well—as signing Japanese import Hiroyuki Nakajima to be their starting shortstop—means that the A's are out of the rebuilding mode that they had been in since 2007.

The A's are likely done with acquiring players now that they have replaced the departed Jonny Gomes with Chris Young, and Stephen Drew with Nakajima.  

The Athletics' full focus should be turned to re-signing their own players as they have Brandon Moss, Jerry Blevins and Seth Smith still eligible for arbitration.