A’s acquire former Pack IF Kouzmanoff from Padres in trade
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Padres and Athletics finalized a four-player trade Saturday that sent third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff from San Diego to Oakland.
The A’s also acquired minor league infielder Eric Sogard for outfielders Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham.
The teams had agreed to the deal on Friday, pending physicals.
Hairston goes back to the Padres after they traded him to Oakland on July 5 for three players.
Kouzmanoff will be an insurance policy for the Athletics at third base. Six-time Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez might not be able to return to that position after recovering from a second back surgery that cost him most of the 2009 season.
“We had gone into the offseason realizing that with Eric’s health the last couple of years, it was a position that we needed to fill, and if Eric was able to come back, then we’d have a good problem on our hands,” Oakland general manager Billy Beane said. “We were pretty determined the whole offseason to find someone who could play the position on an everyday basis and hopefully play it well.”
Kouzmanoff said he’s always admired Chavez.
“I’ve got some competition,” Kouzmanoff said. “He’s actually been one of my favorite players to watch. I’ve admired him for a long time. It’ll be exciting getting next to him and taking some swings with him. Obviously it’s a challenge. He’s a great ballplayer who’s established himself well in the game. We’ll just see what happens.”
Kouzmanoff and Hairston are good friends.
“It was kind of strange because when I heard Oakland I got all excited – I get to play ball again with one of my good friends,” Kouzmanoff said. “When I talked to Scott, he’s like, ‘Well, do you know who I was traded for?’ He said it was me. That was surprising because he just came from San Diego.”
Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said Hairston can platoon both with center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. and right fielder Will Venable.