Oakland Athletics: 7 Players Who Will Be Gone by the Trade Deadline

Nick HouserCorrespondent IIMarch 24, 2012

Oakland Athletics: 7 Players Who Will Be Gone by the Trade Deadline

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    Unless the Oakland Athletics produce a magical first half, general manager Billy Beane will sell off assets like Kurt Suzuki and cut duds like Jonny Gomes by the trade deadline.

    Beane is widely known for pulling the trigger on blockbuster deals year after year.

    With a roster that mirrors a Triple-A affiliate, competing against the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels will be no easy task.

    A weak roster and a trade-happy GM? 2012 will be no different from the last five seasons—the A's will be sellers at the trade deadline.

    The question is: Who's going to spend their last months in green and gold?

Brandon Allen

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    Brandon Allen may be the best first baseman the Oakland Athletics have.

    He's certainly the most exciting to fans, compared to disappointments Daric Barton and Chris Carter.

    In 13 spring training games, Allen is hitting .303 with three doubles, two home runs and 13 RBI. He's definitely got power; he just needs time to get comfortable.

    With four options at first and all of them too good for the minors, someone has to go. Unless management shockingly gives up on Barton or Carter, it seems Allen is the odd man out.

Cliff Pennington

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    If Cliff Pennington hits .264 like he did last season, the Oakland Athletics won't field too many calls about his status.

    His talent at the dish has gotten better, though. If it continues to rise, he'll be a hot commodity at the trade deadline.

    Pennington will be 28 with back-to -back seasons of increased production. He's more than serviceable, and best of all, he's ridiculously cheap.

    Look for a contender bit by injuries at shortstop to phone Oakland in June.

    The A's might be so far out at that point that filling the void with Eric Sogard or Adam Rosales really won't change a thing.

Kurt Suzuki

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    There was speculation throughout the entire offseason that the Oakland Athletics were leisurely shopping catcher Kurt Suzuki.

    Coming off of a .237 season with only 44 RBI, Suzuki's services were less than desirable.

    But history has shown that more often than not when an Athletic's name appears in trade rumors, he's as good as gone. It's just a matter of time.

    Suzuki may have survived the offseason, but he will be suiting up elsewhere by the end of 2012.

Grant Balfour

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    Grant Balfour recently won the closing duties for the Oakland Athletics.

    Already a sought after player this offseason, Balfour faces a similar situation as Kurt Suzuki. Attention has been drawn and clubs have called.

    The closer role should only help pad Balfour's stats further.

    He'll make somewhere around $4 million this season, but desperate teams in dire need won't even flinch.

Jonny Gomes

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    The signing of Jonny Gomes to an already crowded Oakland Athletics outfield is one that boggled the minds of many A's fans.

    Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick will field the three outfield spots. Seth Smith is the next best option.

    Michael Taylor and Colin Cowgill are young and will need looks at the big league level too.

    Gomes is currently listed as the DH. After a month of struggling to put a ball in play, he'll be designated for assignment.

    Smith will take over DH duties until Manny Ramirez returns from suspension.

Dallas Braden

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    Each year when fans identify a fan favorite, a player with personality who has been on the Oakland Athletics longer than anyone else, the player is inevitably traded.

    More often than not, it's a starting pitcher. Typically, it's the best pitcher the A's have.

    Tim Hudson. Mark Mulder. Dan Haren. Joe Blanton. Trevor Cahill. The list goes on.

    It happens every year.

    All indications point to Dallas Braden being 2012's victim.

    If he can return strong from injury, teams will want him to fill in the middle or back end of their rotation.

    He's 28 years old and has a consistent ERA of around 3.50. He can eat just under 100 innings and earn 8-10 wins toward the back of the season for someone.

Coco Crisp

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    It's only a matter of time before Coco Crisp suits up elsewhere.

    To start, he wants to play center field. The Oakland Athletics have given the spot to newly acquired Yoenis Cespedes and bumped Crisp to left field.

    He's 32 years old playing for a rebuilding team in the thick of stadium woes, and he's losing his position.

    At this point, fans should expect the trade demand to grow loud in late May. He only has one World Series ring, and he's not getting any younger.

    Crisp offers good base-hitting ability and phenomenal speed, but it won't matter much to the A's. They can easily utilize one of the young guys in waiting to fill in for a half season.