Outfielder Michael Taylor arrived five years ago in the Oakland A’s organization, a highly touted prospect who seemed to be a franchise building block.
His career never took off in Green and Gold, and on Saturday the A’s dealt Taylor to the Chicago White Sox for Single-A right-hander Jake Sanchez. It’s not a major-impact trade, but a noteworthy one from the standpoint that Taylor, 28, was a player worth monitoring each spring when he arrived at A’s camp.
Oakland acquired Taylor from Toronto for first base prospect Brett Wallace back in December 2009, immediately after Taylor had been acquired by the Blue Jays in the deal that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia.
He showed flashes of his potential in the minors but was never able to put it together at the major league level in limited time with Oakland. Taylor hit .135 with one homer and one RBI in 74 at-bats spread over three seasons with the A’s.
He made a strong push to make the big club this spring, hitting .274 with three homers and 10 RBI in 27 Cactus League games and earning praise from manager Bob Melvin. But it became apparent that the A’s were leaning toward breaking camp with Sam Fuld as an extra outfielder, and Taylor knew his next opportunity would probably come in a different uniform.
The former Stanford star now gets a fresh start with an organization that is quite familiar with him. White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson spent the previous 10 seasons in the A’s organization and worked extensively with Taylor.
Sanchez, 24, was 5-4 with a 2.80 ERA this season with Single-A Kannapolis. He appeared in 15 games (nine starts) and also had three saves. Sanchez went undrafted out of Iowa Wesleyan College and was pitching with the independent-league Joliet Slammers when he had his contract purchased by the White Sox in June of last season.