A's Offense Awakens: A Little Too Late?

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Since the All-Star break, the A’s offense has switched gears and has actually been productive at the plate. Entering Tuesday’s contest against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland’s offense is hitting a collective .308 since the break.

The A’s have put together a .308/.383/.444 line since the break to go along with 53 runs and seven home runs. Considering the team struggled in the first half, hitting just .233/.299/.337 with 315 runs and 50 home runs prior to the All-Star break, this turnaround should be considered a big one.

There are currently six A’s regulars hitting above .280 since the break, and that’s definitely an encouraging sign. But is this turnaround a little too late to save the A’s season?

Probably.

A’s general manager Billy Beane has five days left before the July 31 trade deadline, and the popular consensus is that Beane will be looking to move pieces at the deadline rather than add them.

Outfielders David DeJesus, Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, and relievers Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler, Brian Fuentes, and a few others figure to be likely trading chips for Beane to deal.

For a guy like DeJesus, who’s hitting .308/.372/.410 since the break, this recent turnaround at the plate could help raise his value at the deadline. Willingham, who’s hitting .258/.429/.484 with two homers and six RBIs since the break, is perhaps the most obvious choice to be traded.

He’s a player who has proven that he’s a solid source for power, as evidenced by his 13 HR this year. The only knock against Willingham is that he’s had some trouble with his health, which could bring his value down a bit.

While everything is speculation at this point, the fact of the matter is that the A’s will not feature the same outfield next month as the one they started with back in April. The A’s struggled mightily to put runs up on the board during the first half, and wasted solid pitching performances from the rotation.

At 45-57, the Athletics sit 13.5 games behind the first-place Rangers and in third place overall in the AL West. The Mariners have graciously given up their spot in third place to Oakland, but that’s not saying much for an A’s team that was expected to contend for the division title. If only the A’s had performed like this during the first half. Oh well, there’s always next year, right?

 

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