When Major League Baseball teams discuss trades, money is almost always a point of contention because most clubs operate under a set budget.
When the Milwaukee Brewers dealt left-handed pitcher Brad Mills to Oakland, it seemed harmless enough. The A's needed a starting pitcher after Drew Pomeranz was placed on the disabled list after punching a chair, per Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com; Mills has some MLB experience and comes cheaply.
Very cheaply, it turns out.
According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the deal between Milwaukee and Oakland will cost the A's a whole dollar:
To put that sum into perspective, it would cost you more to go to McDonald's and order something off the dollar menu (factoring in sales tax) than it's costing the A's to acquire Mills.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports Mills will immediately join the A's lineup:
Mills will start for #Athletics tomorrow.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 19, 2014
How should Brad Mills feel after being traded for $1?
Teams will often trade a player they don't have use for by simply asking to get a player to be named later or "cash considerations." Usually when you see the latter, you think of a sum of at least five figures. Sometimes it's a bigger figure if the player being traded is owed a substantial amount for the duration of his contract.
Taking a bigger-picture perspective for the player, Mills makes out like a bandit in this deal. The 29-year-old lefty has been stuck in Triple-A Nashville all season and hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2012.
Now, according to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Mills will be working out with the A's on Thursday prior to their game against Boston before they decide whether to put him on the 25-man roster. Lee writes:
The very chance of that happening seems likely, since manager Bob Melvin has strongly suggested it will be Mills making Saturday's start against the Red Sox in place of Drew Pomeranz, who was forced to the disabled list with a broken right hand after punching a wooden chair this week.
Nothing is official, though.
Lee does note that Dan Straily and Arnold Leon are also in the mix for Saturday's start, "but Mills appears to have the edge."
So the left-hander goes from a situation where it was evident that a call-up wasn't coming, to potentially pitching an MLB game for the A's, who have the best record in baseball, against the defending World Series champions.
Sometimes a dollar can buy a lot more than you think. For the A's, it has given them rotation options. Somewhere Billy Beane is smiling, because this trade is the epitome of everything he has done with this franchise over the last 16 years.
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