Potential A’s Bait For July Trade Deadline
By Andrew Brown
The A’s finished the “first half” of the season (first half is in quotations because we have technically already passed the first half of the season) in first place in the AL West by two games over the Texas Rangers. This is the first time since 1990 the A’s have been in sole possession of first place at the All-Star Break. The team is playing extremely well and they look poised to again reach the postseason in 2013. With the trade deadline quickly arriving A’s GM Billy Beane will surely be looking to make some improvements to the roster. Some of them may have possibly come already in the promotions of top prospects second baseman Grant Green and starting pitcher/reliever Sonny Gray. With that in mind, to acquire players the A’s will need to give up some pieces in return. Here’s a quick look at some players who could be on their way out of Oakland in trades this month as well as a couple players who are seen as untouchables.
August 19, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics second basemanJemile Weeks
(19) bunts the ball against the Cleveland Indians during the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
With two of the A’s top prospects shipped off during the last offseason (Brad Peacock in the Jed Lowrie trade and A.J. Cole in the John Jaso trade) and three other prospects already in the Major Leagues (Dan Straily, Sonny Gray, and Grant Green) there is very little the A’s have to dangle as trade bait this season in the way of minor league talent. While the A’s do not have many holes to fill this trade deadline they will still have to give up some players in return to acquire players. Here are the players who are potentially being used as trade bait:
1. Jemile Weeks- Weeks at one point was untouchable in trades. However, after an exciting rookie season, Weeks fell off last year and was eventually demoted back to Triple-A Sacramento where he has played multiple positions all awhile searching for the offense that has seemingly eluded him. Regardless, some team will probably want to take a chance on a player who could use a change of scenery.
2. Miles Head– Head was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in the Andrew Bailey deal. The main piece in that trade so far has been Josh Reddick, but Head continues to be a powerful hitter in the lower minors and that power projects to continue on into the upper minors and possibly to the Major Leagues. With Josh Donaldson at third base and a couple other power hitting first baseman in the minor league pipeline Head could become expendable.
3. Daniel Robertson– Robertson is another offensive minded prospect who plays positions that either are blocked or will be blocked in the future. Again josh Donaldson is the foreseeable third baseman for the A’s and with Jed Lowrie at shortstop along with Addison Russell coming down the pipeline Robertson is another player who could become expendable.
4. Matt Olson– Olson is a power hitting first baseman who emerged from the supplemental round of the draft in 2012. He can really hit and a lot of teams will be looking to acquire him. Again, with Mile Head also playing the same position along with bringing the same offensive skillset to the table Olson could become expendable as well.
5. Other potential players being traded- Daric Barton, Adam Rosales, Raul Alcantara
Some prospects within the A’s organization are seemingly and understandably untouchable. These players include almost all of the players drafted this year along with Michael Choice, Addison Russell, and the three prospects in the Majors currently in Gray, Green, and Straily.
A major upgrade for the A’s at the upcoming trade deadline seems unlikely. However, if a major splash is going to be made these are the players where the conversations will start. It is going to be an interesting couple of weeks waiting to see if Beane will make any moves. He always seems to leave A’s fans in suspense. Will this be the year the A’s go all in?