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The Daily Bernie, 7/17/15: Oakland A's could be game-changers in outfield market

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A very large number of teams are looking for upgrades in the outfield, and A's righty Jesse Hahn could be out longer than expected, among other news.

Where will the coveted Ben Zobrist end up?
Where will the coveted Ben Zobrist end up?
Kelley L Cox-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 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are "active in pursuit of [a] hitter", per Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times. Anaheim could really use upgrades in left field and at designated hitter, preferably left-handed hitters, but they have found the asking prices on those players to be too high, as DiGiovanna states. The Angels strongly pursued A's right fielder Josh Reddick prior to ex-Angels'-GM Jerry Dipoto's resignation, but Oakland gave them a firm no. They have also shown interest in Ben Zobrist, who would become their primary left fielder while also spotting Johnny Giavotella at second base.
  • Similarly, the Baltimore Orioles are exploring outfield options, per Dan Connoly of The Baltimore Sun. The departures of corner outfielders Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis, along with poor performances from Alejandro De Aza, Delmon Young (both of which have been DFA'd and are no longer with the organization), and Steven Pearce have left the O's with only one productive outfielder - star centerfielder Adam Jones. Yet again, either Ben Zobrist or Josh Reddick would make a lot of sense for Baltimore, as would options like the Reds' Jay Bruce or the Padres' Justin Upton.
  • Rounding out today's outfield news, the New York Mets aren't ruling out adding an outfielder, per Marc Craig of Newsday Sports. Despite a seemingly crowded outfield (Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, and Michael Cuddyer), another versatile option could certainly help the team. Granderson has played well, but both Lagares and Cuddyer have been hurt and/or underperforming all season. The Mets "covet" Zobrist, as Craig says, but they are keeping an open mind. Personally, I think Will Venable of the Padres could make some sense for the club as well.
  • Jesse Hahn could be out of action for quite some time, writes John Hickey of The Bay Area News Group. General Manager Billy Beane told Hickey that Hahn could be in the midst of a "somewhat extended stay" on the disabled list. He has missed two starts in a row due to a right flexor tendon issue. Beane also states that the team will be "conservative" with Hahn. This could be a blessing in disguise for the A's, as it gets Hahn (who has struggled with injuries in the past) a nice little break. There is no real need to rush him back to a team that is 41-50 and eight games back of the second Wild Card spot.
  • A thumb injury to starting catcher Miguel Montero has prompted the Chicago Cubs to recall top catching prospect Kyle Schwarber, writes Carrie Muskat for MLB.com. Schwarber has slashed .323/.430/.591 between Double-A and Triple-A in 2015, and posted a .982 OPS over six games for the Cubs in mid-June. Schwarber may have some defensive questions, but the 22 year-old can flat-out hit. It's fun to dream about Schwarber as an Athletic, but I really don't think he'll be going anywhere any time soon (if ever).

Bernie's Daily Deal: Ben Zobrist to the Los Angeles Angels for Cam Bedrosian, Jett Bandy, Chad Hinshaw, Andrew Daniel, and Sherman Johnson

Gosh, the Angels' farm system is horrible. After an untouchable trio of decent prospects in Andrew Heaney, Sean Newcomb, and Roberto Baldoquin, the talent falls off a sharp cliff. Almost everyone that follows is either hurt, playing horribly, not that good to begin with, or any combination of the three. So if the Angels want to acquire an outfield bat without giving up one of their three biggest names, they'll have to give up quantity.

Bedrosian is a 23 year-old right-handed reliever with great stuff, and strikeout rates usually over a batter per inning. However, shaky control can hurt him sometimes. He's kind of a younger, less broken Ryan Cook at this point. Bandy is a 25 year-old right-handed hitting catcher in Triple-A. He has above average defense and has shown some nice power (7 HRs, .176 ISO) but has only a 3.6% walk rate. Hinshaw is a 24 year-old right-handed outfielder in Double-A with some speed, modest power, and an improved walk rate, but with some strikeout issues. Daniel is a 22 year-old second baseman in High-A with decent speed and power, and improving discipline and defense. Finally, Johnson is a 25 year-old infielder (second-and-third-baseman) with almost as many walks as strikeouts (61 to 62) in Double-A. He also has nice speed and sneaky power.

None of the five players above will ever light the world on fire. But each have relatively high floors, and all (with the exception of Daniel) are close to the major leagues. The A's front office has set a precedent (with the Donaldson trade, and the second Samardzija trade) to value quantity over quality, and this could very well be another one of those cases. Four of the five youngsters could be in Oakland providing some form of value as early as April 2016.

That's all for today. Baseball is finally back, as the A's will take on the Minnesota Twins at home at 7:05 P.M. PST. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until Monday - lean on, A's fans!