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A’s acquire Kila Ka’aihue from Royals for Ethan Hollingsworth

Sep 27, 2011, 3:40 PM EDT


Last week the Royals designated Kila Ka’aihue for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster, and today they traded the 27-year-old first baseman to the A’s for minor-league pitcher Ethan Hollingsworth.

Ka’aihue’s track record in the minors is good enough and lengthy enough that he deserved a longer opportunity in the majors, but he flopped in a few brief stints with the Royals and career minor leaguers without any defensive skills tend to get fewer chances than their raw numbers warrant.

Oakland hasn’t pursued as many no-glove, good-hit minor leaguers in recent years, but back in the “Moneyball” days Ka’aihue was exactly the type of player Billy Beane and the A’s often took chances on. He’s hit .281 with a .412 on-base percentage and .497 slugging percentage in 353 career games at Triple-A.

Hollingsworth split this season between Double-A and Triple-A, throwing 105 innings with a 3.76 ERA and 73/27 K/BB ratio as a 24-year-old starter. He was the Rockies’ fourth-round draft pick in 2008 and came to the A’s in a deal for Clayton Mortensen last winter.

  1. randall351 - Sep 27, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Cheap way to possibly get a pitching upgrade; I like it.

    • - Sep 27, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      Billy Bean has worked Dayton Moore more than once. Way I look at it, anything the Royals (almost typed we, can’t do that) get for a AAAA 1B, is probably a push.

      But they need as many looks at SP as possible. I guess it’s good in the fact that they traded a 1B, something the Royals have depth, for a starting pitcher, something they don’t.

  2. APBA Guy - Sep 27, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    You don’t have to go far to read “desperation” into this move. The A’s first basemen this year:

    Barton: .592 OPS
    Allen: .661

    In addition the A’s have played Conor Jackson (.651) at first for an extended period, plus Landon Powell (.466), Chris Carter (.307), Adam Rosales (.344), and goodness knows who else for brief, horrifying moments.

    Nothing more clearly says “your system has failed” than not having a first baseman who can hit.

    • clydeserra - Sep 27, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      two years ago Barton “OPS’ed” .800 with the best defense in the league. this year all his periferal numbers were pretty much the same, except the FB/HR rate. He ended up needing shoulder surgery on his right shoulder, the one that lefties need to drive the ball

      I am guessing that the injured shoulder had a lot to do with the power outage.

      I don’t see this as desperate, its more depth.

  3. franklapidus316 - Sep 27, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Billy Beane accumulates mediocre 1st basman like Matt Millen piled up lame Wide Receivers.

  4. skipperxc - Sep 27, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Billy Beane makes most Billy Beane move ever. Really we should have seen this one coming.

  5. aaronmoreno - Sep 27, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    First basemen who can’t hit are the new market inefficiency.

  6. royalsfaninfargo - Sep 27, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Good luck to Kila. After the Hos came up to the bigs there really isnt a place for him on the Royals.

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