The A’s have continued their hot streak that culminated last year with a trip to the postseason into this season and there are no signs of them slowing down anytime soon. They have continually won tough games in recent weeks using great starting pitching, a lockdown bullpen, and timely hitting to win series after series. The AL West has seemingly become a two team race between the A’s and the Texas Rangers (however the Green and Gold proved last year no team is out of it until the final game is played). With the end of June less than ten days away and the summer heating up it’s time to take an early look at what the A’s might do at the July trade deadline.
In the offseason A’s GM Billy Beane decided to go a route few analysts and fans predicted. He added depth. He added depth to nearly every position on the field. Many predicted the A’s would either stay still or trade some players at the peak of their value (Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick for example). The benefits of those offseason additions are easily tangible this season. Players such as Jed Lowrie, Chris Young, John Jaso, and Nate Freiman have all had a hand in the A’s success this season. This leads to the question: if the A’s added so much depth what would they look to acquire at the deadline if anything? The answer may surprise you.
The A’s will look to acquire pitching depth at the July trade deadline. Some potential red flags have popped up in the last few series the A’s have played. The first concern and most alarming has to be Sean Doolittle. Doolittle was dominant last year and looked untouchable at the beginning of this season. However, over the last two weeks Doolittle has struggled mightily continually gaining base runners and giving up big hits to opposing teams. While this struggle might be temporary the A’s would do well to add another big arm in the bullpen further solidifying the strongest part of the team.
Another potential addition might be a starting pitcher. With Tommy Milone‘s inconsistency and Dan Straily‘s continuing development the A’s do not have much to turn to in Triple-A Sacramento. Sonny Gray would be the best bet but the A’s would have to decide if it is worth calling him up and starting his service clock for only a few starts. This is where Beane annually shows off his genius. He finds the under the radar pitchers who come up big (think recent years Bartolo Colon, Guillermo Moscoso, Travis Blackley, etc.). The amount of starting pitchers potentially available this year is huge and should be an easy target for Beane and Co.
The A’s offense has plenty of depth at the Major League level as well as the Minor League level so any acquisition based on offense would be a huge surprise. With a lack of pitching depth at Triple-A Sacramento look for the A’s to make a minor move or two to solidify the rotation and pen as the Green and Gold continue to march towards a potential postseason berth.