With the All-Star Game now over, the season will resume for the Oakland Athletics on Friday with a series against the Minnesota Twins. There are now only 16 days left until the trade deadline and the Athletics have yet to make a major move. Many other teams were expecting, and hoping, for a major selloff of all of the A’s players whose contracts are up at the end of this season – specifically Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir, and Tyler Clippard. However, Oakland is going to turn the tables on their opponents and be buyers come the trade deadline.
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Unless the first few series after the All-Star break go extremely poorly, it does not make sense for Oakland to be sellers and Billy Beane understands that, which is why he has not made any majors trades yet. The Athletics may have struggled earlier this season, but they have had the best record in the American League West from the end of May till now. Additionally, the Houston Astros, who started out the season extremely hot and led the AL West for the majority of the first half, have started to falter and lost eight of their last ten games before the All-Star break.
Oakland also has the offensive power and starting rotation to last in the postseason. They have the sixth most runs in the MLB and have the third highest run differential out of all the AL teams battling for the two Wild Card spots. When it comes to their starting rotation, two of their pitchers are in the top 15 in the MLB for lowest ERA. With the Wild Card race still fairly tight, it could be possible for the A’s to squeak out enough wins to make the postseason.
Oakland only needs a few more players to round out their team and starting winning enough games to boost them up to the top. They need a great defensive shortstop and they need one or two more consistent arms for the bullpen. With a more stable bullpen and a backup for Marcus Semien, Oakland has a good chance of making a run at the postseason. If they are able to buy these pieces before the trade deadline, the A’s will be a very good team during the second half of the season.
With so much potential to succeed, Beane is not going to trade away this three most successful players prior to July 31. Instead, he is going to look to add some quality ballplayers to the roster. And, with not that many other teams making moves, Beane will be plenty of options when it comes to acquisitions and trades during the offseason. Look for Beane to make some strategic, yet beneficial buys by the end of the month.