AP source: Padres to trade Kouzmanoff to A’s
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres agreed Friday to trade third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and a minor leaguer to the Oakland Athletics for outfielders Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade was pending physicals and neither team had made an announcement. The person did not identify which minor leaguer the Padres would send to the A’s.
San Diego was set to reacquire Hairston after sending him to the Athletics on July 5 for three players.
Kouzmanoff apparently will be an insurance policy for the Athletics at third base. Six-time Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez might not be able to return to that position after recovering from a second back surgery that cost him most of the 2009 season.
Kouzmanoff has been mentioned in trade rumors off and on since touted prospect Chase Headley made his big league debut for San Diego in June 2007.
The trade would allow the Padres to move Headley to third base. Kyle Blanks, who made his big league debut last year, would replace Headley in left field.
Hairston could platoon in center with Tony Gwynn Jr.
Kouzmanoff is perhaps best-known for becoming the first player in history to hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw as a major leaguer. Hours after being called up by Cleveland on Sept. 2, 2006, he connected against Texas.
Kouzmanoff was traded to the Padres for second baseman Josh Barfield on Nov. 9, 2006.
In 2009, Kouzmanoff set a single-season record for NL third basemen with a .990 fielding percentage, committing only three errors in 309 chances. Even so, he didn’t win a Gold Glove award.
One of his game-used gloves ended up in the Hall of Fame.
Kouzmanoff has been a favorite at Petco Park, with fans chanting “KOOOOZ” when he comes to bat or makes a nice play at third base.
Kouzmanoff is a .261 career hitter, with 62 homers in four seasons. He hit a career-high 23 home runs in 2008.
Hairston hit a combined .265 with 17 homers between San Diego and Oakland last year. He is the younger brother of Jerry Hairston Jr. of the World Series champion New York Yankees.
Cunningham split time the last two seasons between Oakland and Triple-A Sacramento. He’ll likely start next season in the minors.
The trade was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
– AP sportswriter Janie McCauley in Oakland contributed to this report.
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