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Elephant Rumblings: Trade deadline days away

MLB news roundup

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Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

It’s a Freaky Friday, Athletics Nation.

Trade negotiations are reaching a frenzied pitch as Tuesday’s deadline approaches, and the rebuilding A’s are in the mood to sell. General manager David Forst characterized the organization as “very busy” with discussions on possible deals. Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle offered a fresh assessment of some of the A’s most likely moves in the coming days.

Kawahara noted that while the team focused on payroll-cutting during the offseason, the current focus will likely be more purely on acquiring prospects that might help the A’s contend in the future. Here are some of the A’s top trade candidates per Kawahara; parenthetical figures represent each player’s median trade valuation per

Frankie Montas (27.1) has been surrounded by more trade buzz than any other Athletic, though his recent IL stint due to shoulder inflammation could be a concern for potential suitors. Nevertheless, as one of the best starting pitchers on the market, Montas could still command a haul. Likely suitors could be the Blue Jays, Twins, Cardinals, Yankees, and White Sox.

Ramón Laureano (45.5) was a gold glove candidate as a center fielder in 2020 and has a high ceiling as a hitter, though his career so far has been marked by inconsistency and marred by an 80-game PED suspension levied against him last year. But his barrel rate has been high recently and he’s homered 8 times in the past 24 games. He also has multiple years of team control. With a dearth of center fielders presently on the market, Laureano could potentially command solid offers from the likes of the Brewers, Phillies, or Rays.

Sean Murphy (59.1) is probably the A’s most valuable trade chip, and he has three years of team control after this season, so Forst and Company can hold out for a high price and keep Murphy on the team if offers aren’t satisfactory. The 2021 Gold Glove catcher has a ton of power at the plate, and though his bat hasn’t been spectacular overall in 2022, he’s been on a tear in July, hitting .333 with a .976 OPS. The A’s minor league system is stacked at the backstop position, which could also factor into a decision to trade. Kawahara mentions the Guardians, Mets, Rays, and Giants as potential partners in a deal for Murphy.

Lou Trivino (-0.3) is not the most obvious lure to dangle ahead of the deadline. He’s struggled a lot in recent years and has a terrible 6.68 ERA so far this season. But his .456 BABIP suggests he’s had some bad luck, and his stuff can play well when he finds his command. His FIP is at 3.99 on the season—that’s not much higher than the mark of 3.69 that accompanied a 2.92 ERA in his terrific 2018 rookie campaign. Perhaps a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered.

Kawahara also mentions Cole Irvin, Sam Moll, and A.J. Puk as arms that could attract offers in the days ahead. So who should stay and who should go, AN? Anyone and everyone if the price is right? Sound off below.

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