As the Oakland A’s are reportedly ready to rip their core apart due to budget concerns, certain players have been mentioned as trade bait. Matt Olson has been a hot target, with the Yankees primarily listed as his destination. The A’s starters are likely to get a good amount of attention. But there has been little talk about Ramon Laureano.
There is a major reason for that. Laureano is still serving his PED suspension and will be lost for the first three weeks of the 2022 season. That failed PED test also brings his performance in 2021 into question, as teams may not be certain as to what type of player they are getting.
Oakland A’s could have underrated trade chip in Ramon Laureano
Those questions surrounding Laureano and his failed PED test do not change one simple fact – the free agent class in center field is weak. Aside from Starling Marte, no one that is primarily a center fielder would be considered a potential game changer.
Laureano has the potential to be exactly that type of player. He has a bit of pop and solid speed, producing a 111 OPS+ with 14 homers and 21 doubles in his 378 plate appearances while stealing 12 bases. It is entirely possible that he could have a 20-20 season in the near future.
His defense is also amongst the best in the game. Laureano saved three runs in center in just 75 games while showing above average range. It seems inevitable that he will win a Gold Glove at some point in his career.
That combination should make him a coveted target on the trade market. The A’s have indicated that any of their arbitration eligible players can be had, which would include Laureano. That should especially be the case now as he may be a buy-low candidate despite how highly he is valued by the organization.
The center field market in free agency is weak. This could give the Oakland A’s an underrated trade chip in Ramon Laureano.