For the first time since March 26, a trade has happened in Major League Baseball. The Padres have acquired minor-league speedster Jorge Mateo from the Athletics for a player to be named later, both teams announced. ESPN's Jeff Passan first reported the trade.
In a post on players out of options back in March, our R.J. Anderson said the following regarding Mateo:
Mateo has speed and makeup concerns, but he hit .289/.330/.504 in Triple-A last season. Impressive ... except Mateo's team, as a whole, hit .298/.371/.531.
With Mateo out of options and unlikely to be an impact on the big-league team, there was little reason for the A's to keep him.
Mateo, 25, has seen time at second base, center field and shortstop in the minors, with the overwhelming majority of time being spent at shorstopt. Obivously the Padres have wunderkind Fernando Tatis at short, but Mateo isn't being acquired for heavy playing time.
The best bet here is he's a possible pinch runner. In this short season, every individual game matters more and late-inning close games might call for pinch runners to try and make things happen. It'll especially matter in extra innings with a runner starting on second base. Mateo can fly, and in 702 career minor-league games, he's stolen 283 bases in 361 tries.
The biggest news here is that teams are making trades again. Expect a few more low-level type moves over the next few days as teams begin training for the 60-game season. Also of note: Free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig remains on the market.