Billy Beane is at it again.
Nolan, 24, a lefty, placed 10th on that Baseball America list. He has been deemed ready enough to warrant one MLB appearance in each of the last two seasons, though he has spent most of his time in the upper minors. In 105 Triple-A innings thus far, he has posted a 3.17 ERA and averaged 7.5 strikeouts and 3.9 walks per nine innings. Baseball America credits him with a “true four-pitch mix” and calls him a fairly polished fourth-starter type.
Graveman, 23, breezed through the Blue Jays’ system after they selected him in the eighth round of the 2013 draft. He threw 172 innings across five levels of the organization last year alone, largely dominating at every level of the minors as a starter before earning a chance to make a handful of big league relief appearances. He totaled 27 minor league starts, seven of which came above the high-A level, carrying a cumulative 1.83 ERA with 6.2 strikeouts against 1.7 walks per nine innings.
It would not be surprising to see other moves by both clubs. The Blue Jays have clearly signaled their intention to challenge for the American League East Division crown and remain in the market for outfield and bullpen help. And Oakland is in the midst of a general roster shakeup, but is probably not merely looking to the future after promising $30 million to Billy Butler.
With the team’s most recent rotation additions, it is possible to imagine the A’s offering one of their pitchers with expiring contracts (Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir) as they look to complete a largely open middle infield mix. Lawrie, of course, has spent some time at second in his career, which provides some newfound flexibility.
Donaldson led Harwich in virtually all offensive categories in 2006. His batting line was a solid .302/.382/.456 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 21 RBIs. The 5-foot-11, 182-pound Auburn product was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2007.
Graveman helped lead Wareham to the 2012 Cape League championship. The Mississippi State right-hander was 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in six games, four as a starter. In 24 1/3 innings, he walked just four batters while striking out 26.
The CCBL PR Office thanks Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors, Mark Townsend of Big League Stew, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports for their contributions to this story.