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Seth Smith could be a quality bench bat.
Heading into the season the Oakland A's made it clear that they were in full rebuilding mode based on the moves that they had made. General manager Billy Beane isn't shy about dealing players, even stars, when he is in rebuilding mode. That is why outfielder Seth Smith and reliever Grant Balfour could be available.
Smith, the former Colorado Rockie, is a guy that the Braves have had rumored interest in for a long time. He posted a .275/.348/.485 line in four seasons with the Rockies, but was more of a platoon player. In Oakland his numbers are a bit down, as expected since he has departed the thin air of Denver, but are still a respectable .259/.372/.405.
Smith is a platoon player, one that hits lefties at just .204 with a .597 OPS in his career. However he really hits right-handers hard with a career average of .287 and OPS of 871. He would be a nice bench player to have, as he plays both corner outfield positions. He also provides an upgrade over Matt Diaz in a platoon situation because there are more righties than lefties, and he hits righties better than current specialist Eric Hinske.
Another reason why Oakland could be an attractive trade partner is because they have a good reliever on the trading block. Grant Balfour, who is set to be a free agent at the end of the year unless the club picks up a $4.5M option, is likely available.
Balfour is a veteran right-hander who is having a solid year. Overall this year he has a 3.34 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go with seven saves, and those numbers are in-line with his career 3.55 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.
Balfour is a strong setup man who has some closing experience in his career. He is also a 34 year old veteran who has pitched in 15 postseason games, and reached the World Series with Tampa Bay in 2008.
For the right piece in return, the Braves could have both Smith and Balfour. While neither player alone will make a major difference, improving a pair of key roles will certainly provide a boost for the team.