Billy Beane might not be done quite yet. This is, after all, what happens when you put together a team with four bona fide aces and another plus starter in Jesse Chavez — quality pitchers like Jason Hammel (yes, Jason Hammel is still a good pitcher) fall to the floor like breadcrumbs. The rest of MLB is hungry, apparently:
Source: #Athletics getting "flooded" with calls on Hammel. Weren’t planning to trade him, but . . .— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2014
The move would make sense, given that Hammel doesn't seem to have much of a future on the 2014 A's other than providing starting depth and potentially coming out of the bullpen in long relief. Hammel has struggled greatly since being brought to Oakland, and now seems more like dead weight than ever.
The obvious missing piece for Oakland is a second baseman more offensively proficient than the current trio of Alberto Callaspo, Nick Punto, and Eric Sogard. Whether such a player — Ben Zobrist and Chase Utley come to mind as the cream of the crop — is available remains to be seen. The Tampa Bay Rays are planning on moving David Price, also according to Ken Rosenthal, which means they likely don't see themselves as contenders and could be open to moving Zobrist. Yup:
Not sure that the #Athletics have the right stuff to get a deal done, but am told Ben Zobrist is available from Rays.— John Hickey (@JHickey3) July 31, 2014
Of course, Beane could deal Hammel to a team on the fringe on contending, perhaps looking for a boost at the back end of the rotation, and begin to replenish a farm system that, for better or worse, he decimated by sending Addison Russell to the Cubs in exchange for Hammel and Jeff Samardzija.
Two hours and change left until the actual deadline. At this point, nothing would be surprising.