The A's have two major weaknesses, if you can call them that, headed into prime trade season, and it appears that one of them could be addressed in the very near future:
Jason Hammel "and/or" Jeff Samadrzija? There's no way the A's could possibly swing that deal, unless....
Well, that explains it. Long the lone "untouchable" prospect in Oakland's system, it's possible that Russell is untouchable no more. Landing even one of those two starters — especially Samardzija — would be a huge boost to Oakland's rotation, considering that Brad Mills is currently handling the fifth starter role and if anyone in the current group goes down, the A's are in trouble.
Samardzija has pitched to a 2.83 ERA in 108 innings pitched this season, and owns a 1.20 WHIP and 3.07 FIP. Hammel has pitched to a 2.98 ERA in 102⅔ innings this season, to a 1.01 WHIP and a 3.12 FIP. Samardzija is 2-7 on the year, while Hammel is 7-5. So yes, these two are the poster children for abolishing wins and losses as pitcher statistics, but that's a different article.
On the other hand, Russell is riding a .385 BABIP to a .333/.439/.500 slash line at Double-A Midland, where he's been limited to 13 games this year after a hamstring tear. Last year, he hit .275/.377/.508 with High-A Stockton, where he spent almost the entire season.
Updates to come.