Our 2B has had issues for a long time now, it seems like the fix continues to be pushed back. Like kicking a can down the road, and like the Federal Government, nothing gets done.
I would love for the A's to save up their resources (both players and money) and go after some solid starting Second Basemen. It is time to finally approach the problem head on. There is no option in the minors, and there are no real options on the current MLB roster either. So let's think outside the box.
Here are some players who are and will be a better 2B than every single one we have been playing in 2014. Wait there's more! All of these players are also on a team that has multiple 2B options, so they won't be missed much, nor will they cause a hole at 2B for their current teams.
Yangervis Solarte - NYY
He's a rookie, who knows what the future holds. But he sure came out of the gates swinging. He has a .330/.405/.473 slash line in 112 AB right now. Although he destroys RHP, he hits LHP really well, to a tune of .302/.328/.396. He's a switch hitter who can hit excellent from both sides of the plate. The Yankees have Brian Roberts and Sizemore who can slot in at 2B.
Anthony Rendon AND Danny Espinosa - WSH
I would take either of them. They are both cheap (Rendon makes $1.8mm, and Espinosa still on rookie contract). They both are under team control until 2018 and 2020. They both hit better than every 2B raggity tag option, we've been throwing out there all year long. Rendon is hitting .284/.315/.484 on the season, but mainly hits LHP better than RHP. But his .251/.306/.381 career line against RHP aint too shabby, and is still a better line than any of our 2B are producing right now.
Espinosa is a switch hitter who is hitting .243/.285/.461 on the season. While his OBP is pretty bad, he has 6 HR and 4 SB in 123 PA this season. He is also only 27, with room to improve (unlike Callaspo and Punto). Of course I would much rather have Rendon (age 24 right now), but Espinosa is still an upgrade for the A's.
Josh Rutledge AND DJ LeMahieu - COL
Rutledge is a work in progress at age 25. His rookie year in 2012, he did great, then had a slump in 2013, and now with limited playing time in 2014, he is making it count. .318/.375/.500 in 22 AB. I'd be willing to try him out on the A's as a future option. What we saw from him in 2012 may be the real deal, especially as he gets older and stronger. Regardless, he can't really play any worse than Sogard and Punto, so why not?
LeMahieu doesn't have much power, but he hits for average and is so speedy. Last year he hit .280 and stole 18 bases in only 434 PA. This year he has improved his OBP a ton, and has a slash of .287/.362/.339 w/ 3 SB in 130 PA. I see him as always being a high average guy with speed. At age 25 as well, he will only get better. His dWAR so far in 2014 is also 0.3, which makes him a plus defender. (Sogard is currently 0.5)
Dee Gordon - LAD
Talk about speedy, this guy takes the cake. While not available yet, the Dodgers have a very talented Cuban waiting in the wings at AAA. Once Guerrero comes up are they willing to move Gordon? Who knows? But if they do, I'm happy to partake. He's hitting .324/.365/.432 this season w/ 24 SB in 159 PA! Historically he has sucked, I'm not gonna deny it. But he has never played a full season, and is only 26 years old right now. This could be him finally fixing his issues, and showing his true potential. In 2012 he stole 32 bases in 330 PA. He speed has always been there. He just needed to start hitting and getting on base more, which he has finally begun to do now.
Rickie Weeks - MIL
We already had one Weeks on our team and that didn't work out, but I'm willing to give a 2nd Weeks a shot. He had a big slump last year, but still managed 10 HR and 7 SB in 350 AB. Prior to last year he hit 20+ HR in 3 straight seasons. A 2B who can hit over 20 HR is fine in my book. His BA has dipped over the past 2 seasons, not hitting above .230, but currently he is hitting .318 in 44 AB. Maybe he is going back to his old self? Either way, he is a power 2B who has experience being consistent, and only costs $11mm this year w/ a $11.5mm option for next year. MIL has Gennett at 2B to fill in for the loss of Weeks.
I hope this guide was helpful, and I hope that all of these players are currently being scouted out by the A's Front Office. There is plenty of 2B talent for the right now and the future available, and we need to take advantage of it. We need to act now, instead of wait until later, because that is all we've been doing over the past few years.