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Elephant Rumblings: A’s most improved team in AL West after 2020 trade deadline

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MLB news roundup

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Two former Angels
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The 2020 MLB trade deadline is over, and most of the league has moved on to focus on their games and figure out the evolution of their new rosters. Except the Oakland A’s, who have to sit out until at least Friday as a precaution after their positive test for coronavirus, though for now everybody else has tested negative and there is a clear path toward resuming play soon.

While we wait for the green and gold to get going again, here’s a look at how the trade deadline affected the AL West. The short version is that the A’s were the clear winners in the group, adding two 2019 All-Stars from rivals within the division without giving up any core pieces of anything, while the second-place Astros did nothing despite losing a ton of key players to injuries this summer. Meanwhile, the Angels, Mariners, and Rangers were all sellers to various extents, officially giving up on 2020 and dumping some veterans for prospects and salary relief.

This fact was already apparent, but it’s now officially a two-team race, and the one who’s currently leading is also the only one who improved at the deadline. Here are each club’s moves:

A’s

  • Acquired IF Tommy La Stella from Angels (for IF Franklin Barreto)
  • Acquired LHP Mike Minor from Rangers (for two PTBNL)

Astros

  • Nope

Angels

  • Traded C Jason Castro to Padres (for RHP Gerardo Reyes)
  • Traded IF Tommy La Stella to A’s (for IF Franklin Barreto)
  • Traded OF Brian Goodwin to Reds (for a prospect and maybe another PTBNL)

Rangers

  • Traded LHP Mike Minor to A’s (for two PTBNLs)
  • Traded C Robinson Chirinos to Mets (for a PTBNL)
  • Traded 3B Todd Frazier to Mets (for a PTBNL)

Mariners

  • Traded RHP Taijuan Walker to Blue Jays (for a PTBNL)
  • Traded RHP Austin Adams, RHP Dan Altavilla, and C Austin Nola to Padres (for four prospects, led by OF Taylor Trammell)
  • Traded RHP Taylor Williams to Padres (for a PTBNL)

Even if you aren’t yet sold on Oakland’s acquisition of Minor, at least it was better than nothing in the win-now terms of competing this year. Houston still has a good squad, but some of those injured stars are definitely not coming back until 2021, and they chose not to go out and collect any more pitching just in case. Bold strategy, let’s see if it pays off.

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