On Sunday, the Oakland Athletics continued their spring overhaul with the San Diego Padres in a four-man trade for left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea. Then, to make the day even more memorable for the A’s fans, Manaea was announced as San Diego’s starting pitcher for a scheduled spring training game at Hohokam Stadium against the team that just traded him.
Manaea reunited with former Oakland manager Bob Melvin. Melvin, as part of their plan to rebuild the franchise and minor league system, joined the Padres after last season while becoming the latest notable player the A’s are hiring. The plan was so that the team could have a better perspective of winning chance.
Full trade, per source: Oakland gets Euribiel Angeles and Adrian Martinez, San Diego gets Sean Manaea and Aaron Holiday.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) April 3, 2022
As Manaea arrived at his former team’s clubhouse after being traded to the Padres, he felt a bit pragmatic and open on the situation.
“BoMel called me, he’s excited, and I’m glad to be reunited with him. … I gotta pack up my stuff and then, I guess, just walk over. I don’t really know how this works,” he said.
Back in 2016, when Melvin was still the manager of the Athletics, the now-60-year-old expected big things of Manaea.
“Once you bring a guy up like that, you’re looking at it more for the long haul,” Melvin said. “We think he’s ready to go. Now, you make your reps here in the big leagues based on performance — but we wouldn’t be bringing him here if we didn’t think he had the ability to stay here for a while.”
Following hearing about the trade to the Padres, Manaea packed up his locker and said his goodbyes.
“He’s sitting there crying at his locker, packing his bags up, just shows you how much he meant and loved this team,” utilityman Tony Kemp observed. “Going to a different team, he’s definitely going to be loved over there.”
Aside from Manaea, the A’s also traded right-handed pitcher Aaron Holiday to the Padres for prospects Euribiel Angeles, a middle infielder, and right-handed pitcher Adrian Martinez.
Sean Manaea is going to start today’s game against the A’s for the Padres.
— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 3, 2022
Knowing that the 30-year-old, Manaea, was not just any regular player, a teammate suggest that the trade was all due to salary raises and arbitration.
“I think we all knew it was coming,” A’s starter James Kaprielian said. “Sean’s got a pretty good price tag on him, he’s a good ballplayer and he’s earned it. We see what’s going on around us.
The Padres subsequently announce that the Indiana-native pitcher would play on Sunday starting the game. Acknowledging the weird situation of having to play against his own former team on the day he was traded, Manaea tried to be professional.
“It’s kind of crazy, a little surreal, but it’s baseball.”
Pitching for the Athletics, Manaea has played in a total of 129 games. He has completed 3 games with 312 earned runs and 50 wins. Obviously, that isn’t a bad rate at all. He averaged 3.86 in runs and 1.20 in walks and hits. He has played for the Athletics since 2016. Apparently, his former teammate might also miss his presence.
Kaprielian said, “Myself, I look to these guys for leadership. We’re all brothers and we just go through it together and grind together. So when someone gets taken away from that, it sucks.”