Oakland is widely expected to trade starter Frankie Montas within the next 13 days if he stays healthy over his final 2-3 starts for the club. It could be a franchise-altering move if the front office hits on the players they get back for the right-hander, helping to expedite the rebuild and get back to contention sooner than later.
The A’s have a few more players who might be of interest to contending clubs too, though. Some are bigger names who offer long-term value, while others are smaller pieces on the roster that fringe teams may kick the tires on to give their team a boost without selling the farm. Let’s take a look at some of those players.
The 2021 Gold Glover hasn’t been the dominant force with the bat that a lot of fans expected after a big spring. He still ranks among the top-5 in most offensive categories among his peers, though, and he already has a 2.4 fWAR, 5th among all catchers in baseball.
Murphy is under team control for the remainder of this season and three more after, making him especially appealing to teams who are looking beyond this summer. Another squad could trade for Murphy knowing that he’ll help not only this year but for a long time after that, and the 27-year-old is just entering his prime to boot.
Oakland’s top two prospects are catchers and they just drafted another with their first round pick. Shea Langeliers is patiently waiting his turn in Vegas, so it’s only a matter of time when Murphy gets dealt anyway, whether it happens this month or sometime else over the next year. Trading for Murphy is a win-now and win-later move for whoever ultimately gets him.
Teams that could be interested: NYM, MIA, CLE, MIN, CWS. BOS, TB, STL, SD, HOU
The outfielder might have been traded already had he not gotten popped with a suspension in the latter half of the 2021 season, which also cost him the first month of 2022.
His power numbers are a tad down this year but he’s heating up and hit seven homers since June 30th, and the rest of his stats are in line or close to what he’s done in his career. He’s a 20-20 type of player that can handle center, a big position of need for a lot of contenders, but he can also play right field, expanding his potential suitors. He’s still got an absolute cannon out there in the outfield, too.
Laureano is like Murphy in that he’s controllable beyond this year. Any team interested in bringing him aboard would get him for an additional two seasons after this one, so prying Laureano from the A’s will cost a team a pretty penny.
Teams that could be interested: PHI, MIA, CLE, TB, BOS, NYY, SD, SF, MIL, HOU
Shortstop belongs to Nick Allen next year, but if Oakland wants to get him started early they could attempt to trade their current shortstop.
There are a couple of hurdles with trading Andrus, however. Firstly, his trade to the A’s gave him a full no-trade clause. He can pick wherever he’d want to go. Secondly, his $15MM club option for next year triggers when he hits 550 plate appearances. Since he’s already at 316 now, he’s likely to hit that mark if he keeps playing everyday like he’s been doing in Oakland, but probably won’t get there if another team brings him in and moves him into a utility role on the bench. Will he accept that?
Perhaps the key would be how badly Andrus wants to go to the playoffs this year. Would he accept a trade that puts him in a lesser role and costs him the chance to vest his 2023 payday, if it meant playing October baseball, something he hasn’t done in the past six years?
Teams that could be interested: PHI, BAL, NYY, SD
While he’s not having a great season to back up his breakout from last year, Kemp has been a solid role player throughout his career and that’s just what an interested team would be acquiring him for, to be a utility piece.
His current slash line is a far cry from what he did last season, but he still has excellent bat-to-ball skills and doesn’t strike out a ton, a trait that’s somewhat rare in today’s game. He’s almost unplayable against same-handed pitching but has generally fared better against right-handers.
Anyone that needs a scrappy left-handed hitter that can handle second base and left field and doesn’t strike out much could surely look at Kemp as an option for a platoon or bench role down the stretch, He could also be an option next year as he’s under control through 2023.
Teams that could be interested: LAD, SD, CWS, ATL, BAL
Also somewhat versatile, Pinder is in his final couple months of team control, making him a prime candidate to trade. He’s played almost exclusively in the outfield this year and that’s his best position, but a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who just lost utility man Chris Taylor to a broken foot, would love to get their hands on a flexible player like Pinder, who has experience at most infield positions as well as the corner outfield spots.
Pinder is the opposite from Kemp in that he’s allergic to walks and he strikes out out a lot. He doesn’t have much speed, either, but he’s cheap at roughly $1.3MM the rest of this year and has some pop in his bat. Plus, he’s a hard-nosed gamer who goes all out and would fit in anywhere he goes, and for it’s worth he has some clutch postseason heroics on his track record. A team that wants to improve without giving up any major prospects would want to take a look at the super-sub.
Teams that could be interested: LAD, SD, SEA, CWS, ATL, BAL
Saying Trivino’s 2022 has been up and down would be an understatement. He entered the year as the closer for the club but quickly lost that job after a couple blow ups early on. He went 21 appearances without a save opportunity and only reclaimed the job thanks to an injury to Dany Jimenez. He’s 6-for-7 in save chances since returning to the role.
It’s unlikely an interested team would want him handling closing duties. He’s struggled somewhat in high-pressure positions and had his best stretch of the season when he was handling lower-pressure situations. He’s given up 18 runs in just 21 innings when pitching the eighth, ninth, and tenth this year.
His 6.59 ERA is tough to look at, but he’s had a couple blow up games that skew his overall line. He’s getting groundballs about half the time and would fit in well with a club with a strong infield defense. Pretty much every team needs more pitching so if Oakland wants to it wouldn’t be hard to find a club interested in a trade for the Oakland closer. Trivino is also controllable for a couple more years after 2022, upping the price to acquire the righty.
Teams that could be interested: any and all contenders
Will any of these players be dealt in the next 10 days before the deadline? That depends on what kinds of offers the A’s receive. None of them are locks to be traded right now, since all of them can be held until this winter or beyond if Oakland chooses, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see any of them go for the right price.