Kila Ka'aihue of the Kansas City Royals looks on uring a spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
The Kansas City Royals recently designated Kila Ka'aihue for assignment, and Tuesday, naturally, he has been acquired by the Oakland Athletics.
Tuesday afternoon, news has come across the Twitter wire. No, not that Jed Lowrie is batting cleanup for the Boston Red Sox, although I did see that. Rather, that Kila Ka'aihue - who was recently designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals - has been traded to. .. well, here. I'll let Jane Lee tell it:
Athletics acquire infielder Kila Ka'aihue from Kansas City for RHP Phillip Hollingsworth
Kila Ka'aihue has been traded to the one team that has classically and stereotypically been the most interested in players like Kila Ka'aihue. It's so not shocking that it's practically anti-shocking, received with chuckles and slapped foreheads. I have some things to say.
On the face of it, Ka'aihue is a predictable but difficult fit. It would be one thing if the A's had an obvious vacancy at first base or DH, but their 40-man roster includes names like Daric Barton, Brandon Allen, Chris Carter and Michael Taylor (to say nothing of Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui, who are presumably gone after the year). All of those guys are first baseman or designated hitters, and while none of them have hit particularly well in the majors, Ka'aihue has a lifetime .683 OPS himself. He's just another triple-A masher looking to prove he belongs.
Not that there's anything wrong with having options. The A's now have a little flexibility with their assortment of players who have limited flexibility. Maybe they make moves over the winter, or maybe they let things play out in spring training. But it's not like Ka'aihue is automatically being freed here, being handed a regular job off the bat. He's not. There's still work to be done.
Dayton Moore sits in a small conference room with members of his front office
Moore: All right, so the Kila DFA paperwork's all finished.
Moore: Watch this, you guys.
Moore: /presses intercom
Moore: Phyllis, could you go ahead and fax the papers over to the commissioner's office?
Phyllis: No problem.
Moore: /leans back in chair
Moore: /exchanges glances
Moore: /picks up
Beane: Hey Day, Billy Beane here.
Moore: F@&$IN NAILED IT!
Moore: /bolts out of chair, pumps fist
Assistant 1: /laughs
Assistant 2: /laughs
Moore: /high five
Assistant 1: /high five
Moore: /high five
Assistant 2: /high five
Moore: NAILED IT
I wonder where this move ranks among the most predictable moves of the past calendar year. I don't have the greatest memory in the world, even if we're only counting goldfish, but as I see it, Ka'aihue to the A's has only two competitors:
- The Royals signing Jeff Francoeur to a one-year contract
- The Royals signing Jeff Francoeur to a multi-year contract
That's it, I think. There have been other somewhat predictable moves, but I think these three are at the top of the list. I'm just not sure of the order. And now I remember that the A's also traded for Brandon Allen. So, Allen, Ka'aihue, Francoeur, and Francoeur. Which was the most predictable? I can't pick them apart.
Moore: Because you don't sound like Billy Beane, is why I'm asking.
Pitt: No, sir, I promise, I am the Billy Beane that you know.
Moore: I mean, are you fighting a cold or something?
Pitt: Yeah. Cold. Bad cold.
Pitt: So look, can we just negotiate this?
Moore: Sure, sure.
Pitt: Kila Ka'uh...Ka'uh...Ka'hoo...
Pitt: The .379 OBP in Omaha. That guy.
Moore: You want him?
Pitt: Yeah, and I can give you ... :thumbs through papers: ... Phillip Ethan Hollingsworth?
Moore: Is he a pitcher?
Pitt: He... :thumbs through papers: ...yes, he is a pitcher.
Moore: We'll get on the papers right now!
Pitt: Pleasure doing business.
Pitt: /hangs up
Pitt: /turns around
Beane: Yeah, no, you really got me down.
Beane: Can't believe you did that all yourself.
Beane: You're such a good actor!
Beane: Anyway, thanks for getting that guy. Much appreciated.
Pitt: Wait, that was real?
Beane: I'm gonna go work out. Why don't you keep acting the rest of the afternoon.