Although the Oakland A’s hold a playoff spot, they are in trouble. The Seattle Mariners have pulled to within 1.5 games of the Wild Card, and are on the search for anything that can improve their roster. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has not been shy about making any trade possible if he feels it will improve the roster for the long haul or to make the team more competitive.
The A’s also have holes on their roster. The bullpen could use some work, as the relief corps has struggled lately. Shortstop has been a concern all year, even with Elvis Andrus‘ latest run of competence. More depth in the outfield would be helpful, especially in right, as Stephen Piscotty has not set the world afire this year.
Three Oakland A’s prospects that could be traded
If the A’s are going to make those moves needed to improve the roster, they will need to raid their minor league system. It is expected that the A’s will at least make some minor moves, although they are also considered the favorites to land Trevor Story. If that was to happen, Story alone would likely cost a great deal of prospect capital.
The Oakland A’s are likely to make a deal or two at the deadline. Let’s take a look at those prospects that could be traded.
At this point, A.J. Puk would have to be considered damaged goods. However, leaving the Oakland A’s behind, and the high expectations that he once had, could be the best way to get him to live up to his potential.
When healthy, Puk has been solid. He has performed well in a relief role in his limited time in the majors, posting a 2.95 ERA and a 1.295 WHiP over his 14.2 innings, striking out 17 while issuing eight walks. With a four pitch arsenal, including a high octane fastball and wipeout slider, he could be a weapon out of the bullpen.
The problem is that Puk cannot stay healthy. He missed three full seasons due to a myriad of arm and shoulder woes that have left his future role in doubt, as he does not seem capable of holding up under a starter’s workload. Puk has also been disastrous in Triple-A this season, putting his future even further in doubt.
However, this is the perfect opportunity for a team to buy low. Puk still has the stuff to be an asset. It just does not seem as though he will be the pitcher the Oakland A’s had hoped for if he remains in the system. A fresh start would be for the best, and if that leads to the A’s being able to get a piece to help with a playoff push, so be it.
A.J. Puk does not have the same value he once did. However, his pedigree as a former top prospect and intriguing stuff could make him someone that a rebuilding team takes a chance on.