The Oakland Athletics are shopping first baseman Brandon Allen, according to Jerry Crasnick, due to their excess number of first base candidates. MLBTR mentions the Pirates as a team that would be a fit for Allen. The connection seems to be based off the fact that the Pirates are looking for a first baseman, but doesn’t suggest that the Athletics have had contact with the Pirates, or any other team mentioned.
Allen turns 26 in a few weeks and has 324 at-bats in the majors over three seasons. In that time he has a combined .210/.297/.383 line with 11 homers. In his time at the AAA level he has a .286/.401/.555 line in 921 at-bats, with most of that time happening in the hitter friendly PCL.
It seems like every first base prospect that is mentioned as a trade candidate goes on the wish list of Pirates fans. Allen wouldn’t be on my list. He’s left handed, which is a fit for PNC Park. He’s shown some power, although most of that has come in the PCL. I just don’t see a big difference between him and Jeff Clement. Allen is two years younger, but his career right now has taken the same path that Clement’s career took. Clement had a .223/.281/.383 line in 363 at-bats in 2007, 2008, and 2010, along with 14 homers. Clement struck out 25.9% of the time, and walked 6% of the time, while Allen has struck out 34.9% of the time and walked 10.9% of the time in the majors.
Allen has power, but I don’t think he’s what the Pirates need. I think you only have to look at the A’s situation to see that. They’ve got Daric Barton, Kila Ka’aihue, and Chris Carter competing for the first base job. Carter is a good prospect, but Barton and Ka’aihue are far from ideal options at first. It’s not like the A’s are stacked at first base, so if Allen is being traded because he’s being forced out of the mix, then I don’t see how he’s the answer for the Pirates.