At the Trade Deadline, the Moves the Athletics Did and Didn’t Make
By Sean Davis
It has now been more than 9 hours since the passage of the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, and there wasn’t much dust to begin with, but that little bit has now settled. Many of the names that circulated the rumor mills ended up staying put, and a number of teams including the Athletics were left with needs unaddressed. Aside from the pursuit of Jake Peavy in the waning days of July, there never seemed to be many concrete rumors surrounding the A’s. Much of what was discussed was either pure speculation, or so far fetched that there was never a chance of the deal taking place.
Jul 31, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics second baseman Alberto Callaspo (18) at second base against the Toronto Blue Jays during the tenth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-2. Mandatory Credit: L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
In the end, the team acquired Alberto Callaspo, a useful piece who will play a little bit all over the infield but will primarily get playing time as Eric Sogard‘s new platoon partner at second base. The switch hitting Callaspo hits lefties at a .259/.333/.400 clip, and will present a clear upgrade over any right handed hitter who has attempted to fill the void opposite Sogard. Assuming Callaspo can readjust to playing at second once again, this acquisition will prove a valuable one.
There were strong indications that the White Sox were seeking a very expensive package including both Addison Russell and Sonny Gray in exchange for Jake Peavy. Their posturing that included a declaration that they wanted to retain and build around Peavy rather than deal him did nothing to cause Billy Beane to budge. There was simply no chance he was going to pay a ridiculous price like that. Billy Beane is better than that.
Michael Choice‘s name came up as well, but there was no chance Beane would deal him either. So while the Athletics smartly didn’t mortgage their future in order to capture the present. As much as I would like to see the A’s go all the way, I would hate for that to take place in exchange for an empty cupboard and oncoming seasons of ineptitude.
The A’s are left with a need for added starting rotation depth, and bullpen help. And now Billy Beane has to start the whole process over again of scouring the trade market for pieces that could help the Athletics. The waiver process is a bit more difficult to navigate, but as the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers clearly demonstrated with last year’s August mega-deal, literally anything is possible.
I think chances are good that Beane might make an acquisition similar to the additions of Pat Neshek and Stephen Drew last season. Two players who came cheap, were easy to acquire, and paid dividends as the A’s rolled towards the postseason. This year, the bullpen is scuffling as this afternoon’s loss to the Blue Jays demonstrated, and the pen undoubtedly needs fortification.
The rotation does have potential additions from within the organization in Brett Anderson and Sonny Gray, but Anderson’s health cannot be depended on, and Gray hasn’t made a single start in the bigs. A veteran starter who perhaps has some experience in penant races and postseason play would be ideal, but also may not come as cheap as we would like. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible to make an impactful move in August.