The first two months of the 2015 season were pretty dismal for the Oakland Athletics. The A’s had losing records in both of those months and dropped to 20-33 by the end of May. Everyone was certain that come the trade deadline, Oakland would be sellers.
However, the tides have turned for the Athletics. They have a winning record of 14-10 for June and are only one game back from the fourth place Seattle Mariners in the American League West. With the A’s recent success, it is not unclear if they will still be having a fire sale as it was previously predicted at the end of May.
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Oakland has a lot of potential especially now that they are playing well. They have strong bats, their defense has improved immensely, and they have a killer starting rotation. They are fifth in the American League for run differential and third in the MLB for runs scored while three of their starting pitchers are in the top ten in the AL for lowest ERA. The only area that needs some more support is the bullpen.
The Athletics will probably trade some key players away – most likely the ones who will become free agents when their contracts are up at the end of the year. But, these trades will only be made if GM Billy Beane sees them as beneficial to the team for the 2015 season. Oakland is not going to get rid of Scott Kazmir or Ben Zobrist just because they will not be affordable in 2016. They are going to make a trade that keeps the Athletics somewhat in contention for this year’s postseason.
It is unlikely that the A’s will trade all of their star players though. Even though trade rumors regarding Kazmir, Zobrist, and Tyler Clippard have been circulating, only one, maybe two at most, of these players will be traded. If there is even an inkling that the Athletics could make it to the postseason, Beane will not be trading away his key players.
Because of the recent success of the A’s and other teams who started off the season poorly, the trade market is tightening and not that many quality players are available. There have been talks, but no major trades have been completed yet this season. The Oakland Athletics started off the 2014 trade season with a bang with the Jeff Samardzija trade, so perhaps they will do the same this year come the first week of July. However, other teams are going to have to give a little more than a just some top prospects in order to make a deal with Beane, which is what makes the A’s buyers as well as sellers.
It must be said that overall the Athletics are a great team who have been performing badly. There is a still a chance for the A’s to hit a hot streak this season. They have some really great players who are strongly desired by teams all around the league. With the A’s fate still in flux, they will be both buyers and sellers come the trade deadline in order to keep the team in contention for the 2015 postseason.