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The Daily Bernie, 7/13/15: Oakland A's continue to receive interest in Ben Zobrist

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Super-utility man Ben Zobrist is still being coveted by many hopeful contenders, and All-Star Sonny Gray threw his first shutout of the season on Sunday, among other news.

Lots of clubs want Ben Zobrist wearing their uniforms.
Lots of clubs want Ben Zobrist wearing their uniforms.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!

  • The Mets, Nationals, Yankees, and Giants continue to show interest in Ben Zobrist, per Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Zobrist would likely play outfield for the Nationals or Giants, second base for the Yankees, or third base (with some starts elsewhere) for the Mets. The Giants are an intriguing fit, as the A's have not matched up with their cross-bay rivals for a trade of any significance in recent history. Cafardo also mentions that outfielder Josh Reddick and/or catcher Stephen Vogt could make sense for the Mets as well, but it remains to be seen if Oakland will move either player.
  • Sonny Gray shined on Sunday afternoon. The 25 year-old righty continued to assert his dominance over the league, throwing a complete game shutout against the Cleveland Indians and besting 2014 Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber by the final of 2-0. Gray gave up only two hits, walked only one, and struck out six. This outing wraps up Sonny's All-Star first half in which he led the American League in ERA (2.04), and finished sixth in FIP (2.67) and fWAR (3.2). He is, by far, Oakland's brightest star.
  • Oakland's post-break rotation has been set. Chris Bassitt, after pitching well once again on Saturday, was sent down to Triple-A Nashville in favor of reliever Dan Otero, as Bassitt's services won't be needed once more until July 26 (barring another injury or a trade). The post-break rotation will be Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez, and then Kendall Graveman.
  • The late-inning relief market was weakened even more on Saturday, as Atlanta Braves' closer Jason Grilli ruptured his left Achilles tendon and will miss the remainder of the season, per David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It truly is a shame for both Atlanta and Grilli, as the righty was in the midst of a fine bounceback season (2.67 ERA, 2.06 FIP, 24 saves) and had some decent trade value. Old friend Jim Johnson will take his role as Atlanta's closer.
  • Also weakened was the starting pitching market, as Clay Buchholz of the Boston Red Sox was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right flexor strain, per Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald. One of Boston's top prospects, lefty Brian Johnson, will fill in for Buchholz for the time being. Clay was in the midst of a fine season, having posted a 3.26 ERA (2.61 FIP) and being the only bright spot of an otherwise shaky Red Sox rotation. This could either encourage the BoSox to sell, or to buy a top-line starter, depending on their quality of play for the rest of July.

Bernie's Daily Deal: Josh Reddick to the New York Mets for Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini, and Cory Mazzoni

First off, let me say that I am not in favor of moving Josh Reddick if the team wishes to contend in 2016. However, the interest is there with a few clubs, and this package would definitely win me over.

It's pretty simple - the Mets need some offense. Their rotation is full of young studs, but the team just can't score for them. Reddick doesn't fit seamlessly with the Mets, as they have three starting outfielders, but Michael Cuddyer or Juan Lagares could be relegated to bench roles until they remember how to hit.

In return for one of their longest-tenured players, the A's would receive Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini, and Cory Mazoni. Nimmo is a 22 year-old left-handed outfielder that is currently playing in Double-A. Nimmo profiles as average or better across the board, with plus defense and speed, although his power has yet to show itself. Cecchini is a 21 year-old right-handed shortstop. Also in Double-A, Cecchini is also a plus defender with plus speed, and has shown great plate discipline so far in 2015. Finally, Mazzoni is a 25 year-old right handed pitcher. At worst, Mazzoni is a hard-throwing reliever, while at best, Mazzoni is a useful back-end starter. Mazzoni is MLB-ready, while Nimmo and Cecchini would likely be ready at some point in 2016. Nimmo could replace Reddick, while Cecchini could bump Marcus Semien to second base. All three make sense as future "good, not great" players that could contribute every day.

That's all for today. The All-Star break begins today, so the A's don't play again until Friday against the Twins. The Home Run Derby, however, is tonight at 5:00 P.M. PST and will feature a new bracketed style. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!