The Oakland A’s did not exactly begin their rebuilding process in a great place. Their farm system had Tyler Soderstrom and Zack Gelof, but otherwise, there was a distinct lack of high end talent. Injuries and a lack of development had left the A’s minor leaguers as a disappointing collection of former well regarded prospects.
The first batch of trades did not improve the A’s outlook by much. Yes, Shea Langeliers has become one of the top catching prospects in the game, but the A’s did not add much in the way of impact talent. Even the pitchers they acquired – Gunnar Hoglund and J.T. Ginn – were regarded as more back of the rotation arms.
Oakland A’s add needed impact players
This changed with the A’s return for Frankie Montas. Ken Waldichuk could be that top of the rotation arm they need to build around. JP Sears may not necessarily be regarded as a top prospect, but it is difficult to argue his results. Luis Medina could be an ace or he could be a late inning weapon depending on his command issues.
Pitchers such as that had been missing from the equation. Hoglund and Ginn are likely to be solid middle of the rotation arms at best, although they could be building blocks as well. They simply did not have that same upside.
Those younger players could be the perfect supplement to other pieces already at the major league level. Seth Brown is showing that he could be the power threat they need. Paul Blackburn has established himself as a solid piece. A.J. Puk gives the A’s a high octane reliever. But that trio alone cannot pull the A’s to contention. Adding those high ceiling arms can.
The Oakland A’s needed to improve their farm system at the trade deadline. In doing so, they may have accelerated their timeline.