Oakland Athletics Prospect Wish List for 2016

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May 31, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics injured right fielder Josh Reddick (22) looks on from the dugout during the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics injured right fielder Josh Reddick (22) looks on from the dugout during the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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I ran into my good friend and fan of the Oakland Athletics, Joaquin, and one of the first questions he asked me was, “So, do you think Reddick is gone?”  I said, “I sure hope not.”

But with the Oakland Athletics playing so poorly this year, it certainly seems that they are going to be “sellers” when the trading deadline comes.  One of the reasons I am opposed to trading Sonny Gray or Josh Reddick is because I am tired of the Oakland Athletics gathering prospects.  I feel like the A’s have gathered a whole slew of prospects.  Apparently, most of those prospects are not blossoming into something that can help this club succeed.

But let’s pretend that there are a few pieces in place, and the Oakland Athletics could trade Reddick to gain one or two “can’t miss” prospects that will make them contenders.  What position should they seek?  (Just for this exercise, let’s imagine the A’s trade Sonny Gray and Ryan Madson for a dozen minor league pitchers to bolster the rotation.)

The infield seems pretty well set.  Stephen Vogt is the heart and soul of the team.  The Oakland Athletics do not need a catcher.  Yonder Alonso has not hit for power, and he’s still learning American League pitching, but his defense makes him a keeper.  Jed Lowrie is probably never going to be a defensive whiz, but he is a reliable run producer.

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Marcus Semien has made great strides working with Ron Washington.  His power numbers at shortstop show tremendous potential.  Danny Valencia is the only .300 hitter on the team.  Valencia is not Josh Donaldson, but he is good enough.  It’s pretty clear that the Oakland Athletics don’t need to trade Reddick for a handful of infield prospects.

In the outfield, Reddick is one of the best right fielders in the game, so the A’s would be foolish to trade for a right field prospect.  Would it not be wiser just to re-sign Reddick?  Left field is currently manned by Khris Davis, who is the first genuine power hitter the Oakland Athletics have had in quite a while.  Center field might be a possibility for an upgrade.

It saddens me to say that Coco Crisp seems to be nearing the end of his career.  Billy Burns showed great potential last year, but this “prospect” has not worked out this year.  A’s fans might be able to live with Burns’ .244 batting average, but his on base percentage is a woeful .277 which is just not acceptable for a leadoff hitter.

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It is instructive to think about Billy Burns.  He was a hot prospect for the Nationals, and he was named their top minor league player in 2013.  The Oakland Athletics got Burns in 2013 from the Nationals in a trade for Jerry Blevins.  Blevins, if memory serves me well, was a left-handed middle reliever.  Blevins had a couple of amazing appearances in 2012.

He saved that one game where Grant Balfour was having all kinds of trouble with the Angels.  Blevins came into the game in the bottom of the ninth, two runs in with the tying run on third and the winning run on first and no outs.

Blevins struck out Kendrys Morales, and then he got Howie Kendrick to ground into a game-ending double play….Sorry, got caught up in a memory of when the A’s used to be good.  Anyway…the A’s traded a decent middle reliever, Blevins, for the Nationals’ top minor league prospect, Burns.   Not sure how I would grade out that trade.  I would probably say it was an even trade and good for both teams.  Blevins is currently pitching for the Mets.

Next: Trade Deadline Looming: A's Fans Deserve More

But if a middle reliever is worth a team’s top minor league player, what is an All-Star right fielder worth?

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