Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Oakland has agreed to acquire Padre third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and a prospect in exchange for Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham. Kouzmanoff fills Oakland' hole at thirdbase. Oakland had acquired Hairston from the Padres for Sean Gallagher two minor-leaguers. Cunningham was Oakland's top outfield prospect prior to their acquisition of Michael Taylor
Kouzmanoff broke in with the Indians in 2006 before being dealt to the Padres. He was expected to anchor the middle of their lineup, but never quite put together the offensive season that San Diego had anticipated. His averaged a batting line of .263/.309/.436 in three seasons in Petco Park. Oakland's McAfee Coliseum while still favoring pitchers, is not nearly as extreme as Petco.
Hairston enjoys tremendous baseball bloodlines as his brother, father, uncle and grandfather all played in the major leagues. He split last year between San Diego and Oakland, posting a combined line of .265/.307/456. He likely assumes left field replacing Chase Headley who could return to third base to fill the void caused by Kouzmanoff's departure.
San Diego also picks up Aaron Cunningham who spent last year between Sacramento in the PCL and Oakland. He hit well in the minors, but struggled with a batting line of .151/.211/.245 in just 57 plate appearances. With Taylor likely to assume left field in the not too distant future, Cunningham was expendable. He'll eventually push Hairston to the fourth outfield spot in San Diego when the Padres feel he is ready to contribute at the big-league level.
Joe Tetreault is a member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.
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