The Oakland Athletics find themselves just a few hours now from the non-waiver trade deadline (4 pm ET). What should we expect?
Honestly, it’s difficult to even put pen to paper today as the situation is dynamic and rapidly evolving. For those who can’t check Twitter every few seconds, this should bring you up to speed as we head into the afternoon. Be aware though, player trades may occur as you’re reading this.
What we do know
The Oakland Athletics need rotation help. It’s not a secret. Martin Gallegos, the A’s beat writer for the East Bay Times, called attention to our starting pitching woes with this tweet on July 29th.
One. That’s the number of starting pitchers on our current roster that have completed seven innings in a game for the Oakland Athletics since early June.
How much confidence does that give you in our starting rotation? Sean Manaea, the de facto ace, is having a solid season, but past that? Who would you want on the mound for a Game 2 scenario in the ALDS?
Trevor Cahill? Brett Anderson? Edwin Jackson? Do any of those names or their performances so far this season strike you as a viable option? It’s been a merry-go-round of hit or miss performances since the All-Star break from those three.
More from Oakland A's News
- Zach Logue yet another disappointing Oakland A’s trade return
- Luis Barrera heading to familiar foe in Los Angeles Angels
- San Francisco Giants showing Oakland A’s offseason could be worse
- Lucas Luetge what Oakland A’s need in bullpen
- Oakland A’s bring Deolis Guerra back on minor league deal
The idea that I’m grasping at straws to determine a Game 2 ALDS starter instead of wondering about a Game 3 starter is concerning. There currently isn’t a solid #2 pitcher on this roster that we can point to and believe he will provide us with 6-7 solid innings when it counts most.
Many will point to Cahill and say he is that guy, but he’s had two DL stints each of the last two seasons and has trouble staying on the field. I simply don’t believe he’s reliable enough to count on come playoff time.
It’s not difficult to see that we need to add one, or possibly even two starters today. The starting pitching market isn’t full of attractive options so don’t expect a Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester repeat circa 2014.
Instead the names to watch this afternoon are Matt Harvey, Tyson Ross, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Fiers, and Dan Straily. All of these names have shown inconsistencies at times this season but all of them should be available at a reasonable price. Each of them are currently on one-year contracts which sets up perfectly for a “rental” starter.
There’s a lot of chatter about Chris Archer being moved today but don’t expect the Athletics to throw their hat in the ring. Archer’s asking price is sure to be high as he’s controllable through 2021. The asking price is going to be prospect heavy and I’d rather take our chances on a rental instead of trading away Blue Chip prospects.
I have a fondness for Straily as he’s a home grown product and the A’s are very familiar with him, but ultimately, I’d be OK with any of those that I named… if the price was right. We need arms at this point and you could argue all of these players are better options than most of our current starters.
If I had to take a gamble on upside, I’d lean towards Harvey. Many would scoff at the idea, but you keep seeing indications that his game is trending upward such as the following tweet from David Adler, a baseball writer for MLB.com.
His fastball speed is up, and his ground ball percentage is up as well. What would it cost us to play this out and see if the Dark Knight can continue recapturing the magic? Toss in some World Series experience and what do we have to lose?
The possibility still exists the Oakland Athletics steer clear of another starter and add another bullpen arm. Ken Rosenthal, an MLB on FOX reporter, tweeted the following earlier today.
Jeurys Familia has yet to allow a run over the six innings he’s pitched since we’ve acquired him. His acquisition already paid dividends in the Texas series. It may be that Billy Beane believes there is still more value to be had in the reliever market. If so, I’m ready to take that ride as well.
Whichever direction the front office decides to go, this MLB trade deadline has been unmistakably exciting because of the season we are having. We are buyers! That accomplishment alone is something to hold onto!
Sit back, enjoy these next two hours, and let’s see what puzzle pieces Billy Beane puts together. There will be plenty of time afterwards to digest what has happened once the dust has settled.