With August fast approaching, and their squads still in the thick of their respective American League divisional races, the Oakland A’s and Detroit Tigers both made transactions today to bolster their offense and provide backup for their defense, each sending a pitcher to their minor league club in exchange for a hot-hitting fielder.
The A’s, carrying a formidable PB-7 relief corps made up of Elias Sosa, Dave Heaverlo, and Bob Lacey, sent underachieving right-hander Mike Norris to their AAA affiliate in Vancouver, calling up Steve Staggs, a 27-year-old infielder who was hitting .310 in 33 games for the Canadians, to fill his spot on the roster. Staggs, predominantly a second baseman, will join Rob Picciolo as the team’s primary reserves at second, shortstop, and third base.
In the East, the Tigers were in definite need of a power-hitting outfielder; with team HR and RBI leader Steve Kemp out with an injury, the Detroit lineup was left with veteran Mickey Stanley to back up their remaining outfield trio, and his playing time recently had been spent subbing at first base for the oft-injured Jason Thompson. With that in mind, the Tigers chose to send rookie pitcher Dave Tobik—0-1 with a 6.28 ERA after five relief appearances—back to the Evansville Triplets in favor of outfielder Dave Stegman, a slugger with 14 home runs and 67 RBI to his credit midway through the American Association season.
Both players will report to their respective clubs on July 26th; Staggs will meet the A’s in Chicago in time for their game against the White Sox, while Stegman will make the quick trip from Evansville to Detroit to join the team for their short homestand versus the Orioles at Tiger Stadium.