The MLB trade deadline is set at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, which means there are about 24 hours left to make moves. Standing just two games out of the second Wild Card, the Oakland A’s find themselves as potential buyers.
The A’s have already made one big splash, picking up late-inning reliever Jeurys Familia from the Mets. As a recent All-Star closer, he’s a big upgrade for the bullpen’s already strong setup crew, and as a two-month rental his price was relatively low — maybe even an outright bargain. No matter what else happens, Oakland did indeed make a legit win-now move to help aid their unexpected playoff push.
Still, there’s more that could be done. The starting rotation is made up of 10 Little Leaguers standing on each other’s shoulders to fit into five adult baseball jerseys, and even a mediocre starter could help if he’s able to reliably eat innings. If the right starter isn’t out there, then more bullpen help could be another way to strengthen the staff, especially a second southpaw. Some folks in the community would like to see another lefty bat in the outfield to offset the loss of the injured Matt Joyce.
On the other hand, the A’s have also spent three long, grueling years building up an impressive farm system, with the goal of putting together an extended period of success. They should be wary of how much of it they mortgage for this one premature chance, no matter how thrilling the current moment may feel. It’s a tough line to walk, but the good news is the Familia trade represented the perfect balance between the two extremes — they got an impact upgrade but only parted with a couple fringe prospects.
Personally, I’m hoping to spend lightly on one more starting pitcher rental. If it comes attached with a lefty reliever too, then cool. I’m not ready to blow up the farm for a big-ticket acquisition, and I think the lineup is fine as it is. One more cheap starter is the right balance between making an effort while opportunity is knocking but not pushing in too many chips too soon.
That said, I’m also totally fine standing pat with the group that has played .570 ball this year, especially when the next rotation reinforcement (healthy Daniel Mengden) is already waiting in Triple-A. They hold the sixth-best record in MLB, so let’s see how far this Team of Destiny can go.
While we to see what happens, here’s what we know so far:
- A’s interested in Tigers SP Mike Fiers
- A’s in the market for a lefty outfielder
- A’s scouted Marlins SP Dan Straily (see Marlins link below)
- A’s at least “touched base” with Rays about SP Chris Archer (via Joel Sherman, NY Post)
And here’s some speculation regarding teams who are selling the things Oakland needs:
- Trade valuations for SP targets
- Trade valuations for lefty reliever targets
- Yes, the A’s do need another starting pitcher
Get ready for 24 of the wildest hours of the MLB season! Or, absolutely nothing might happen.