Angels trade Callaspo to A's, acquire Green
Deal brings in Minor League infielder, provides salary relief
ARLINGTON -- The Angels parted ways with another veteran piece on Tuesday night, dealing third baseman Alberto Callaspo to the A's for Minor League infielder Grant Green.
The American League West-leading A's already have Josh Donaldson at third base, so Callaspo is expected to play second in what will essentially be a platoon with the left-handed-hitting Eric Sogard. Chris Nelson will be called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday to take Callaspo's spot on the Angels' roster, and Green will essentially take Nelson's spot in the Minor Leagues.
The 25-year-old Green -- athletic, with a potent bat but shaky defense -- will play primarily second base but will move around and get some fine-tuning at the hot corner.
Prospect acquired by Angels
- Grant Green, 2B: Green, ranked No. 3 on the A's Top 20 at the time of the trade, made his long-anticipated Major League debut earlier this month. Although he went 0-for-15 with six strikeouts in his brief time in Oakland, Green has shown plenty of promise as a hitter. His swing allows him to square up pitches and spray line drives to all fields. Green has average speed and good athleticism. Green was a shortstop at USC, but has moved around the diamond since the A's drafted him in the first round in 2009. He seems to have settled in at second base after getting a chance at shortstop and the outfield. Green has the tools to be a capable second baseman, but his offense will always be the most valuable part of his game.
-- Teddy Cahill
By dealing Callaspo, who was signed to a two-year extension in February, the Angels shed close to $6 million in salary that they can use toward starting pitching, either by acquiring it via trade or in free agency. In Green, they hope to have a versatile asset who can fill in when needed.
"He's played at a lot of different positions throughout his career," Angels assistant general manager Matt Klentak said, "and from a roster-building perspective, it's a huge advantage."
Green's arrival could facilitate a trade of second baseman Howie Kendrick -- who can block deals to 12 teams in 2013 -- but an industry source said Tuesday night that the Angels are now unlikely to part ways with shortstop Erick Aybar before Wednesday's 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Green made his Major League debut for Oakland this year, appearing in five games and going 0-for-15. The No. 3 prospect in the A's system, according MLB.com, Green -- a native of Fullerton, Calif., who played collegiately at USC -- posted a .325 average, .379 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage in 87 Triple-A games this year, accumulating 11 homers, 50 RBIs and four stolen bases.
Green was selected 13th overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, came up as a shortstop, spent 2011 and '12 bouncing around -- playing shortstop, second base, third base, center field and left field -- and has spent the vast majority of this season at second base.
Callaspo was signed to a two-year extension in early February to hold down the fort at third base until top prospect Kaleb Cowart is ready, but those plans have obviously been scrapped.
Callaspo, a strong defender at third base who hasn't played second since 2010, has a .253/.323/.348 line this season and spent the last 3 1/2 seasons with the Angels. The 30-year-old switch-hitter has posted a .273/.334/.380 line in eight years in the big leagues.
"We needed some infield help, particularly someone who could help swing from the right side," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "We're pretty thin infield-wise, when you start thinking about the fact we've played Josh pretty much every inning of almost every game. He can give Josh a breather. He can hit against left-handed pitching, play some second base."
Callaspo was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Angels in 2001 and spent his first two years in the Majors with the D-backs before moving to Royals in 2007 and coming back to the Angels in a July 22, 2010, trade that sent Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith to Kansas City.
He was pulled prior to the bottom of the fifth inning at Rangers Ballpark, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia -- ejected in the second -- was in his office to speak with Callaspo before he left.
"This guy is one of our favorites," Scioscia said. "We're going to miss him. I just wished him luck. He'll be a fine addition over there for those guys."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.