The A's offense the last few weeks has been just that, weak. With the team collectively slumping, it is time for an infusion into the lineup, and if they can bring a glove with them, all the better.
On the rumor mill:
- The A's were rumored to be in on Matt Garza at the end before he was dealt to Texas. This might have been to raise up the price on the Rangers, however.
- But, the A's have also been linked to the White Sox's Jake Peavy. Peavy is signed to a hefty contract for 2013 and 2014, with a player option vesting for 2015 if he reaches 400 IP in 2013/2014, which is pretty much out of the question at this point.
- The A's, according to Jim Bowden, are pursuing relief pitchers. With Brett Anderson coming back soon, the idea would be to acquire another setup man, and send Gray back down to the minors to begin starting again.
My thoughts would be that the A's could potentially use Gray later as a starter, bumping one of the A's current SP to the bullpen. This is likely to happen anyways with Anderson coming back. The question would be who to send to the pen if that happened, assuming you did not want to just send Straily down. As someone mentioned in the recap thread, AJ Griffin might be a good candidate for the pen based on his inning splits. Straily has been the odd man out generally, and might be the one chosen to go to the pen as a Strikeout Reliever. Milone is an AN Favorite to go to the pen, but I think the As would keep in him the rotation.
On the trade market, I took a look at the teams at the bottom and the market is not looking good. The greatest target for the A's is still Chase Utley by far, who is a plus defensive 2B and a good hitter, and would fix two problems right away.
But, who else offensively could the A's target?
A brief list:
- Phillies - Carlos Ruiz - Catcher - The A's could use a boost from catcher over Norris, and it would be a buy low on Ruiz. I only see it possible if it was part of an Utley package.
- Twins - Josh Willingham - OF/1B/DH - Willingham is on the DL, but would be a good infusion to help as a Right handed bat who we know can hit in the Coliseum. Willingham is signed past this year, so that would be good, but he is also injured right now.
- Royals - Billy Butler - 1B/DH - Butler would be an excellent Buy Low candidate, plopping into the DH spot and giving the A's some extra power in their lineup. But, beware that Butler comes with a lead glove.
- Royals - Alex Gordon - OF/3B - Gordon would potentially be a great addition to the lineup, but the question would be when to play him. As a lefty bat, Gordon would presumably platoon with Cespedes, or take Seth Smith's role. Not sure if it is worth it.
- Padres - Carlos Quentin - OF/DH - Another Right Handed Bat for the OF and DH. Quentin could easily take over Chris Young's role vs LHP, and Cespedes's or Smith vs RHP.
- Brewers - Johnathan Lucroy - C - Another good hitting RH catcher.
Utley does stand out as the best player the A's can hope to try and acquire. He fills a large hole, and has plus defense and offense. Other offensive boosts are mostly situated around 1B/DH/OF, which we are already somewhat full of. But, I would like to try and find a better backup OF vs RHP than Chris Young, and a full time DH would also give us some boost, though at the expense of the rotating half-day off.
Let the Rosterbation Begin!