The trade deadline has come and gone, filled with both excitement and disappointment and without the flurry of moves we all expected. Certain players staying with the team can provide us insight into each player's value and his potential future with the Oakland A's. Let's talk about the meaning of the players who stayed with the A's.
The finding: Unwanted by some combination of bad defense, a bad clubhouse presence, and a still unproven bat
It was just a few weeks before the All-Star break that we all dreamed of Danny Valencia, our DFA induced hero, being an All-Star and hot trade target. Then, a damning Susan Slusser report verified by Valencia being absent from the lineup on a regular basis predicted Valencia's deadline standing as a non-trade chip. He's still an Athletic and in spite of being surrounded by the 24th worst offense in baseball, he can't crack everyday at-bats.
The deadline might have gone differently had teams known the injuries that would transpire immediately after, but August 1st passed without so much as a nibble in the direction of Valencia. His bat has slipped, somewhat predictably since he's lost regular playing time, his glove is still plutonium, and his hustle has regressed to peak Manny Ramirez levels. There's no indication teams ever saw him as a desirable piece.
What should the A's do? It's hard to imagine a guy who's been around 30% better than league average for almost two seasons with the bat not being a potential asset. Tangibly determining the effect of his clubhouse presence is hard to find, but it's certainly not good. His glove is likely the biggest impediment to him being a truly valuable force, and it will also likely keep him on the A's.
The future: With no real suitors at his peak, Valencia will likely remain on the roster in 2017
The finding: No interest in Scrabble's low key weird season
Individual baseball seasons are stupid random number generators on a large scale, and that's why Scrabble's solid ERA has been fueled by his status as a....ROOGY?
In a reliever market where the sellers were Comcast and buyers were us poor Bay Area folk, wanting whatever limited coverage was available, it would have been nice for the A's to have an available studly late inning guy to net a haul. In a more normal year for Scrabble, he might have at least a lottery ticket in returnl, but his weird, reverse platoon-like half season splits probably scared off teams from making any substantial offers.
The future: Scrabble might be a nice option again next year. He's had a decent year in spite of some weird stats and could come cheap as a free agent.
The finding: The A's value his presence over a potential return and/or the market for him was small
Judging a clubhouse is tough from our vantage point, but we can be pretty sure that the loss of Josh Reddick was felt in waves off the field. With Reddick moving, the A's were unlikely to move Stephen Vogt, one of their other supposed leaders in the clubhouse.
However, with Jonathan Lucroy being such a sought after target, it was a bit puzzling to not hear Stephen Vogt's named dropped at least in baseless speculation. That leads me to suspect that Vogt isn't a highly valuable guy to other teams, at least as a midseason acquisition. His framing is notably lacking and that would probably be compounded if he were to pick up a whole new pitching staff midseason. Teams just didn't seem interested him as the deadline passed.
Still, you do have to wonder if Vogt is a name you'll see floated this offseason. The A's, rather inexplicably, have fellow lefty hitting catcher Bruce Maxwell at the big league level already. The two don't really work well on the same roster, though the A's could easily return to the Vogt/Phegley platoon we've seen the past two seasons and in Ray Fosse's dreams by sending Maxwell back down next season. But the fact that he's up is interesting at the very least and you have to wonder if the A's are looking at Maxwell to see if they have a movable asset in Vogt.
The future: Vogt is a tough one to predict. I'd expect at least the odd rumor or two to fly in the offseason, especially if Maxwell starts to show signs of being an offensive threat. But will the A's actually look to move him? So far, the answer has been a solid no.