The Oakland Athletics have acquired veteran centerfielder Chris Young from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Cliff Pennington and minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera, the club announced today. The A’s also received cash considerations.
Young, a member of the 2010 National League All-Star team, has produced three 20-homer, 20-stolen base seasons during his seven years with the Diamondbacks. The 29-year-old outfielder played in only 101 games in 2012 due to injuries, batting .231 with 24 doubles, 14 home runs, 41 RBI and eight stolen bases. He hit .410 (16-for-39) with five homers and 13 RBI in April before being placed on the 15-day disabled list April 18 with a right shoulder contusion. Young returned to active duty May 17 and batted .261 (40-for-153) with 14 doubles, six home runs and 22 RBI after the All-Star break. However, he started only one game after Sept. 4 due to a right quad injury.
A .239 career hitter, Young has collected 198 doubles, 17 triples, 132 home runs, 408 RBI and 112 stolen bases in 885 games with Arizona. In his All-Star season of 2010, the 6-2, 192-pound Houston, Tex. native batted .257 (150-for-584) with 33 doubles, 27 homers and 91 RBI and was voted the Diamondbacks’ MVP by the Arizona Chapter of the BBWAA. In 2011, he finished second in the Rawlings’ Gold Glove Award voting as a center fielder and shined in the postseason with the D-Backs. He batted .389 (7-for-18) with a double, three home runs and four RBI in five NLDS games against Milwaukee, setting Arizona’s postseason records for home runs in a game (two in Game 4) and a series (3 during the NLDS).
In 2007, Young became the first rookie in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and steal 25 bases in a season when he batted .237 with 32 homers, 68 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 148 games with the Diamondbacks. That year in the playoffs, he hit .273 with two home runs, four RBI and one stolen base against the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS and then batted .286 with a double and RBI against the Colorado Rockies in the NLCS.
He followed that impressive rookie season by hitting .248 with 71 extra-base hits (42 doubles, seven triples, 22 home runs) and 85 RBI in 2008. Originally a 16th-round selection by the Chicago White Sox in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Young was traded with pitchers Orlando Hernandez and Luis Vizcaino to Arizona for pitcher Javier Vazquez and cash considerations after the 2005 season
Young’s current contract runs through the 2013 season with a club option for 2014.
Pennington, 28, played in 125 games for Oakland this season and batted .215 with a .278 on-base percentage and .311 slugging percentage, all career lows. The five-year Major League veteran opened 2012 as the A’s starting shortstop but was hitting .198 with three home runs and 18 RBI in 92 games when the club acquired Stephen Drew from Arizona Aug. 20. Pennington moved to second base following the trade and hit .267 with three homers and 10 RBI over his final 33 contests. He went 4-for-14 (.286) in the 2012 American League Division Series against Detroit, collecting one RBI and three walks in five games against the Tigers.
The 21st overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Pennington is a .249 career hitter with 86 doubles, 15 triples, 24 home runs, 162 RBI and 69 stolen bases in 525 Major League games.
Cabrera, 22, was selected by Oakland in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Draft. The Santa Domingo, D.R. product batted .232 (51-for-220) with nine doubles, two triples, three home runs and 21 RBI in 60 games with Single-A Stockton this past season. In two previous seasons with the A’s, he hit .188 with one double in five games with Rookie League Arizona in 2010 and batted .231 with 21 doubles, five triples, six homers, 47 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 101 games with Single-A Burlington in 2011.