Now Commenting On:

A's acquire catcher Jaso, send Cole back to Nats

Oakland deals three prospects, including one from Gio deal, in three-team swap

A's acquire catcher Jaso, send Cole back to Nats play video for A's acquire catcher Jaso, send Cole back to Nats
OAKLAND -- The A's strengthened their catching situation on Wednesday by acquiring backstop John Jaso from the Mariners in a three-team deal that resulted in them also returning pitching prospect A.J. Cole to the Nationals.

Oakland added in Minor League right-hander Blake Treinen and a player to be named in the package to Washington, who gave up outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse to Seattle.

To clear room on the 40-man roster for Jaso, the A's chose to designate catcher George Kottaras for assignment just one day after agreeing to terms with him on a one-year deal worth $1 million to avoid arbitration.

Jaso, who carries with him a productive left-handed bat, is a prime platoon candidate next to new teammate Derek Norris, given his eye-opening splits. Jaso posted a .927 OPS against right-handers last year, compared to .393 vs. lefties, while making appearances in every spot of the batting order.

The move also gives the young Norris, just 23, an opportunity to ease into what's expected to be his first full big league season and enjoy a sense of comfort against left-handers.

"I think him and Derek complement each other very well," A's general manager Billy Beane said.

Beane has eyed a deal for Jaso since the start of the offseason, tinkering with numerous ways to land the blossoming catcher. Going back even further, the A's had scouted him extensively in his Minor League days, once even considering to pluck him from the Rule 5 Draft.

Patience, Beane hopes, will pay off.

"We think he's a great offensive fit in our lineup," the GM said. "He's got a unique combination of contact and on-base percentage. He was really starting to show some power last year, and I think he's a unique bat that can catch."

The numbers confirm this notion, as Jaso hit .276 with a .394 on-base percentage to go along with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in 108 games for the Mariners last year.

Cole, just 21, was highly regarded by the A's, who landed the righty from the Nationals in the Gio Gonzalez deal last winter. But he struggled greatly at Class A Stockton in 2012, going 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA, before being demoted to Burlington.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español