Nick Allen – the Oakland A’s best trade chip

Mar 18, 2021; Peoria, Arizona, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Nick Allen against the San Diego Padres during a Spring Training game at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2021; Peoria, Arizona, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Nick Allen against the San Diego Padres during a Spring Training game at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland A’s farm system may not be as deep as it has been in the past, but there are still several intriguing players. They are particularly deep at shortstop, where three of their top six prospects are listed, and happens to be the position that their first round pick, Max Muncy, calls home. Given how Elvis Andrus has not exactly set the world afire this year, that depth becomes even more important, especially with Nick Allen being close to the majors.

That does not mean that Allen will reach the majors with the A’s. Instead, he is considered to be their top trade chip, someone that could be on the move should the team trade for a shortstop at the deadline.

Nick Allen may be the Oakland A’s top trade chip

A third round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. Allen was considered almost major league ready defensively. However, there were questions as to whether or not he would hit enough to be more than a glove first utility infielder for the A’s. He had begun to show that the bat could be there until injuries ended his 2019 season early.

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There was plenty of intrigue as to how Allen would perform after losing the 2020 campaign due to the pandemic. He has picked up right where he left off, producing a .319/.374/.471 batting line in his 229 plate appearances. Although his strikeout rate has increased, he is showing surprising power, already hitting a career best six homers on the year.

While his bat may lead to a promotion to Triple-A soon, Allen’s glove is still his calling card. He has done nothing to dissuade those who considered him to be a future Gold Glove winner, showing the arm strength, soft hands, footwork, and instincts needed to be a great defensive player at the position.

With his defense, improving bat, and proximity to the majors, Allen would be an attractive piece for a team selling a shortstop. The problem is that he could be the A’s long term answer in the middle of the infield as well, pushing Andrus to second as soon as next season. It is a balancing act that the A’s will need to figure out.

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Nick Allen is considered to be the future of the Oakland A’s at shortstop. Instead, he could be used to upgrade the position for a playoff push.

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