Feb 18, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane speaks to the media during MLB media day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Athletics are off to a great start, with a 24-15 record as this is being written. That’s better than most of the other teams out there. Last season the Athletics were 20-22 at one point, and they went on to have a 96 win season. If they are off to an even better start this season, then there’s no need to trade right?
The Athletics have plenty of areas in which they would benefit from trading. They may be doing very well, but they could be even better. And they are running very thin on depth.
All area’s of the game could use improvement, so here are some trades that may benefit the Oakland Athletics. First, the rotation.
The Oakland rotation up until recently had a huge talent gap. The first three, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, and Jesse Chavez were and still are doing outstanding. Every single one of them has an ERA below 2.50. Then they had the duo Straily and Milone, who both struggled way too much for comfort. Straily was recently demoted. He needs to gain better control of his fastball, because he was not doing well at all. Milone wasn’t doing well either, but he came back nicely and went 8 innings against a talented Nationals Team. He lowered his ERA over an entire run. Now it’s Pomeranz and Milone in the back end.
Seems solid enough right?
Well what happens if the injury bug isn’t done with the rotation, and someone else must go on the DL? Who will come in and keep the engine going? Straily has proven he isn’t consistent enough to be a starter in the Majors. The Athletics already have two relievers turned starters in the rotation, and they don’t have much else to tap into. They would greatly benefit by trading for even just another decent starter.
I like the idea of bringing David Price to Oakland, And while unlikely, it isn’t completely impossible. Price has an ERA over 4 this season, with a quickly reeling Tampa Bay Rays team. His price may going doing down, and might be just within reach for Oakland. It would still mean giving up a lot, especially some top prospects which would include Addison Russell. It would mean giving up a lot of good farm talent, as well as someone on the 25 man roster.
While it probably won’t happen, it’s a lot more possible now than it was in the offseason.
Then we have the offense. Almost everyone is contributing and batting over .250, but there is one glaring hole in the lineup when his name appears; Daric Barton. Barton is on the roster solely for his defensive talent, but batting under .150 is not going to keep you in the major leagues long. Barton is a hole that needs to be patched up quickly. There are rumors going around that the Athletics are already interested in trading for another first basemen, specifically from the San Diego Padres.
When it comes to the offense of this team, almost anyone would be a major improvement over Daric Barton. Any trade in that regard would greatly benefit this team.
Finally we have the bullpen.
Oh boy where do we start? We have a guy who we’re paying $1o million a year, and he can’t be relied on if the other team is within 3 or 4 runs. Oh yeah, did I mention he was supposed to be the closer? You know who it is. Jim Johnson.
Then we have a guy whom we traded Seth Smith for, and Smith was really waking his bat up in the ALDS against Detroit last season. What did we get in return? Luke Gregerson, who also can’t be relied upon to close out games. Originally a set up man, he became part of the closer by committee, only to fail 3 out of his first 6 tries. I miss Seth Smith already. Can we trade him back?
Ryan Cook is on the DL, but he is doing an amazing job along with Fernando Abad. Abad could still have 0.00 ERA if Bob Melvin let him finish his own innings instead of taking him out after just one walk. Both runs scored were walks that he could have gotten through, but the pitchers after him failed, and that run is scored to Abad.
The rest is decent. This bullpen was supposed to be lights out. They will be getting Eric O’Flaherty back sometime in June, and that could pave the way for Beane to trade Jim Johnson or Luke Gregerson away, if there are any takers.
So overall, the team could benefit from a trade one way or another, and knowing Billy Beane, We might get to see some exciting trades happen before the deadline.