Welcome back to the Daily Bernie! It’s the best dance in the game, so let’s get rolling once more!
- With the August 1st trade deadline inching closer and closer, it seems as if the entire league is waiting for just a single domino to drop before the floodgates open. Per Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, an executive has called this time “the calm before the storm.” Could we finally see some major trades today?
- The Chicago Cubs have continued to show interest in Athletics’ right fielder Josh Reddick, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. The Cubs have been connected to the left-handed hitter since early last year, and he would provide a reliable outfield option for the club. Star Jason Heyward hasn’t hit all year, Dexter Fowler has been injured, and Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant are not your ideal defensive outfielders. I could also personally see a fit between the two clubs for a package deal, possibly including starter Rich Hill and/or reliever Ryan Madson.
- Reddick, for his part, has remained focused on his own game, as Jane Lee of MLB.com writes. According to Reddick, contract talks have not resumed with the club, although he hopes that they do, as does manager Bob Melvin. While the A’s are now considering going up to four years, according to Lee, his strong year may have boosted his price too high for Oakland. It seems more likely at this point that the club will either trade him within the coming weeks or extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season.
- The Chicago White Sox could end up selling, per Jon Heyman of TodaysKnuckleball.com. General Manager Rick Hahn told reporters on Thursday that the club had ruled out acquiring rentals, but remained open to almost anything else. Third baseman Todd Frazier and closer David Robertson are two of the club’s top trade chips should they decide to sell. However, the team will not move ace lefthanders Chris Sale or Jose Quintana, per Morosi. This news comes even though one mystery club has recently offered a “king’s ransom” for Sale, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
- Heyman also covers news and notes from all 30 teams in his most recent “Inside Baseball” column. Most notably for the A’s, Heyman calls Hill “all but assured of being traded” and adds that the A’s have not engaged in discussions regarding struggling righty Sonny Gray, as they do not want to sell low on the 26 year-old. (Morosi later added after Sonny’s awful Thursday start that a trade is becoming “doubtful”.) Heyman also notes that Danny Valencia, who recently lost his starting third base job, could be marketed as a super-utility type now that he is taking time at first base and could play some outfield soon. For more, check out his column.
Bernie’s Daily Deal: Josh Reddick and Ryan Madson to the Chicago Cubs for Eloy Jimenez
While Chicago has plenty of nice secondary pieces (such as Mark Zagunis, Donnie Dewees, and Ryan Williams), I think at this deadline the A’s will be targeting impact players. While those three players listed above should each find their way onto a major league roster, the A’s farm is currently full of prospects like that - likely future bench bats and back-end arms. While a winning ball club definitely needs those guys, what the A’s are desperately in need of is middle-of-the-order upside. And Eloy Jimenez brings just that.
Jimenez is a huge 19 year-old. At 6’4” and 205 pounds, he has quite a bit of raw power, some of which he showcased by hitting a monster home run at the 2016 Futures Game. This big home run has Cubs fans extremely hyped about the kid, and many would balk at this trade offer. However, the big hype is masking the huge risk in a 19 year-old like Jimenez. While the right-handed hitter certainly has great power and could develop into an average left fielder, he strikes out too much and his body is still working against him on defense. He is having a fine season in Single-A but is still very much a work in progress, which should make him acquirable for the A’s. He is exactly the kind of high-upside talent the A’s need to take a chance on, and given enough time could develop into an All-Star.
That’s all for today. The A’s and Rays face off once more tonight at 7:05 PM. Southpaw Sean Manaea will be looking to even the series against righty Jake Odorizzi. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until next time - lean on, A’s fans!