Unless you live under a rock, it is old news that the Orioles traded their closer to the Athletics for second basemen Jemile Weeks. If you are looking for analysis on the deal, Alex Conway provided his take on the deal that saved the O’s roughly $10,000,000.
However, there is another aspect of the deal that is a relative unknown. The Orioles are also getting a player to be named later (PTBNL). It is likely that the PTBNL will be announced after the Rule 5 Draft is completed on December 12th, as there is really no other reason for the player to not have been initially tossed into the package. There are a few options, but the most common names that have been tossed around are RHP Blake Hassebrock and 3B Miles Head.
Hassebrock was born and raised on the east coast, attending University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While he is not a prospect that will garner a ton of buzz, he has slowly risen through the ranks of the A’s system. It has been rough at times, posting an ERA of 8.17 in 50+ innings for their Advance Single-A club in 2012. He has been called an enigma at times, as the stuff and numbers simply have never correlated.
I talked to a scout about his thoughts on Hassebrock. He noted that he has “okay zip and a decent break to take a chance on in AA/AAA for depth. More of a sinker, not really anything more than a strong bullpen arm, never hurts.”
Head is an intriguing prospect that was involved in the deal that sent Josh Reddick to Boston in exchange for Andrew Bailey. Unfortunately, he has not turned the corner for Oakland and has struggled at the higher levels of the minors. I thought it was interesting to go back and read his scouting report from SoxProspects in 2011:
Sturdy, well-filled out frame. Possesses the type of body that he will have to be mindful of becoming too stiff as he matures into his mid-20s. Hits from an open stance. Was previously loud with his hands pre-pitch, but has made adjustments to quiet them down. Improved quickness with load and getting swing started on time. Strong present power with plus power potential. Solid-average batspeed. Adept at driving mistakes, especially out and over the plate. Developing batting eye and dedicated to building a professional approach. Can over-extend with his arms, which leads to him being prone to fastballs on the inside third. Will have to hit with more hands in higher levels for hit tool to project as average-to-better. Head was drafted as a third baseman, but was moved to first base in June 2010. Overall, he’s been average defensively at first base. Choppy footwork at times and about average range. Strong arm for a first baseman. Shows soft hands with improving glovework on balls in the dirt. Projects as average-to-solid-average defensively as long as his body doesn’t fill out too much.
I was able to see Head play before he was traded to the west coast, and this scouting report was spot-on at the time. A lot has changed since then, and 2013 was a rough year. The Athletics have also moved him back over to third base, where he has primarily played the past two seasons.
I also reached out to a scout for more recent information on Head: “Too many holes and mental blocks, when he has his moments and connects, the bat flashes.” This falls in line with everything I have heard on Head over the past year or so. He has big power but has struggles connecting with the ball and there is still not a certainty that he can play third. He looks to be a first basemen down the road. Head is a big boy, and it is not too surprising that he has a good amount of power in his bat.
Overall, Hassebrock and Head are two intriguing options for the Orioles as a PTBNL. Head has more allure due to being a legitimately known prospect as recent as last season, but he was left off the Athletics 40-man roster for a reason. I suspect that one of these players will be taken by the Orioles to complete this trade, and Steve Melewski of MASN has also noted the same. We probably should see some movement on this once the Rule 5 Draft is over on December 12th.