The Athletics are going nowhere (other than Las Vegas). In fact, the Oakland A's have been so bad that they cannot go deeper than where they currently are, and they don't have the talent to escape the bottom of the standings either. Enter the fire sale rumors.
The Boston Red Sox, currently sitting at the bottom of the American League East but holding a three-game lead over .500 (39-35), find themselves in need of middle infield support, and the Athletics, of all franchises, might actually have an asset that could help them.
According to Sean McAdams of Mass Live, the Red Sox might be thinking about trading for A's infielder and former World Series champ Aledmys Diaz.
The A's signed Diaz to a two-year, $14 million contract this past offseason and he's looking like one of the better trade asset in Oakland's roster ahead of the trade deadline.
That, though, has little to do with Diaz's current production and age but more with his postseason experience and what he's proved capable of doing in the past and in other organizations. This year, Diaz is putting up mediocre-at-best numbers with a .559 OPS to go a silly bad .212 batting average while slugging .268 through 165 at bats entering Wednesday.
One of Diaz's most appealing traits might actually be his versatility across the infield, and the fact that he's also gotten some reps in the outfield here and there throughout his career since debuting all the way back in 2016. Obviously, the A's won't oppose any type of trade even if it's for peanuts at this point, let alone considering the absolutely putrid status of the franchise on and off the field.
In 51 games with the A's this season, Diaz is posting a slash line of .212/.268/.291, including seven doubles, two home runs, and 11 runs batted in. His walk count stands at a paltry eight, while he has struck out 34 times.
The wRC+ of 64 bears no typo, which is all you need to know about his offensive contributions after becoming the most prominent signing of the A's last offseason...
Throughout the 2023 campaign, Diaz has started games at shortstop (17), third base (21), and second base (11). He has also made appearances at first base (2) and possesses prior experience playing in the outfield.
Having earned an All-Star selection during his rookie season with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016, Diaz entered this year with a career slash line of .266/.320/.443, resulting in a respectable .763 OPS.
Diaz has been below-average this season, his first in Oakland, but that might actually help Boston in acquiring him without having to give up a lot (if anything...) while landing a player not too old with upside if they can rewire his game for the positive.