Oakland Athletics Are Stuck In The Middle Of The Road: Should They Rebuild Or Stand Pat?
By Ana Kieu
I had a conversation with my friend Chris, who is a baseball fanatic, about rumors pertaining to the Oakland Athletics. The A’s are kind of stuck in a neutral zone.
The Oakland Athletics need to rebuild if they want to make the playoffs again. Let’s review four possible trade scenarios. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comment section.
1. Boston Red Sox
Red Sox Acquire: Sonny Gray and Ryan Madson
A’s Acquire: 3B Rafael Devers (#2 Prospect), LHP Brian Johnson (#3 Prospect), RHP Anderson Espinoza (#6 Prospect), and RHP Ty Buttrey (#12 Prospect).
This situation would allow the Red Sox to meet two of their biggest needs at the moment: bolstering their starting rotation with a solid number two starter to slot behind David Price and also add extra depth at the back end of their bullpen with Ryan Madson.
On the Oakland side of things, Rafael Devers is a solid third base prospect who is very prized and would be a good catch for the A’s. In addition, Oakland would receive back three pitchers in Johnson, Espinoza, and Buttrey, which would allow them to stockpile pitching depth and start moving in the right direction. Pitching wins games which ends up leading to championships in the end and you can never have enough pitching depth in every level of the organization.
2. Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Acquires: Rich Hill and Josh Reddick
A’s Acquire: OF Whit Merrifield, RHP Miguel Almonte (#4 Prospect) and 1B/3B Cheslor Cuthbert (#11 Prospect).
This situation would allow the Royals to get an everyday MLB outfielder in Josh Reddick who can play in right field in exchange of Whit Merrifield who could immediately join Oakland’s outfield and play on an everyday basis. In addition, Kansas City would receive Rich Hill, who they could use to bolster their rotation, while giving away Miguel Almonte who Oakland could use as depth.
Lastly, Cheslor Cuthbert is a prized prospect within the Royals farm system and is currently on the 25-man big league roster playing nearly everyday. This would allow the A’s to have another option at 1st base and 3rd base if they ultimately decide to trade Danny Valencia or Yonder Alonso in the future.
3. Cleveland Indians
Indians Acquire: Ryan Madson and Khris Davis
A’s Acquire: OF Clint Frazier (#2 Prospect), LHP Brady Aiken (#4 Prospect), SS Erik Gonzalez (#10 Prospect), and RHP Mike Clevenger (#15 Prospect).
This situation would allow the Indians to acquire another outfield bat which they are actively seeking given their lack of offense as well as additional depth at the back end of their bullpen in Ryan Madson. Madson could easily slot in the back end and be another option in the closer role alongside Cody Allen for Cleveland. Khris Davis would fit nicely out in left field and would allow Cleveland to have control over him until 2020.
On the other side, Oakland would receive a package of very good prospects especially in Clint Frazier and Brady Aiken. Aiken is a left-handed pitcher which makes him even more valuable, but if Cleveland wants to receive a big bat like Davis, then they have to be willing to part with a big prospect like Aiken.
In addition, Oakland gets more depth at shortstop with Erik Gonzalez, who is currently playing in Triple-A with the Indians, along with Mike Clevinger who is also in Triple-A, but has pitched 14.1 innings so far this season at the big league level. Oakland would be able to groom Mike Clevinger and put him into the rotation eventually.
4. Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Acquires: Sonny Gray, Khris Davis, and Ryan Madson.
A’s Acquire: OF Anthony Alford (#2 Prospect), RHP Conner Greene (#8 Prospect), 3B Mitch Nay (#9 Prospect), and RHP Clinton Hollon (#12 Prospect).
This situation allows Toronto to acquire Sonny Gray to bolster their rotation, Khris Davis to add to their outfield as another bat to an already potent lineup as well as Ryan Madson for additional depth at the back end of their bullpen and as extra assurance given the struggles that Roberto Osuna has had at certain times both this year and last.
In return, Oakland would receive a prized outfield prospect in Anthony Alford as well as more pitching depth in both Conner Greene and Clinton Hollon. They would also receive Mitch Nay who is currently playing in High-A Ball with the Blue Jays. All of these prospects would build depth throughout Oakland’s farm system, while allowing them to sell some of their high valued assets to start the rebuilding process.
Next: Last Minute All-Star Prediction!
Sure, injuries have played a large role in Oakland’s success so far this season, but it’s time for them to load some of the big-name players and get prospects to replenish their farm system.