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SAN DIEGO -- The first morning of the winter meetings began with news that the A’s have finalized a trade to send first baseman Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians for minor league second baseman Joe Wendle.
The A's confirmed the trade Monday morning, as the teams were known to be negotiating for several days.
Wendle, 24, spent last season with Double-A Akron but missed considerable time with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He hit .265 with eight home runs and 54 RBI. In 2013, he won Cleveland’s Lou Boudreau Award as the top position player in the team’s farm system, when he hit .295 with 16 homers and 64 RBI with Single-A Carolina.
Wendle ranks ninth on MLB.com’s list of top Indians prospects but he did not make Baseball America’s top 10 list.
The Moss trade means the A’s have now traded last year’s 3-4-5 hitters since last July. Yoenis Cespedes was dealt to Boston at the trade deadline and Josh Donaldson was shipped to Toronto on Nov. 28.
Moss, 31, is coming off his first career All-Star season, and a slow second half left him with a .234 average, 25 home runs and 81 RBI. He had hip surgery in October.
Right-handed ace Jeff Samardzija remains a strong candidate to be traded at some point this winter as well.