Could one of the A's in this picture end up being trade bait. It'd be silly if they were.
It’s about one month before the July 31 MLB trade deadline and the Oakland A’s are one of teams known throughout the league to make deals as the time comes close.
Billy Beane would be crazy to split this A’s squad, especially when it’s won 10 of the last 13 games and is just two games below .500 with 12 games left until the All-Star Break.
Even if the A’s have the lowest batting average in the majors, even if they struggle to finish off saves (Google Brian Fuentes) and even if they can’t finish five-run comebacks in the ninth inning, that is all beside the point.
This baseball team is EXCITING.
Josh Reddick has been the most consistent slugger in the lineup, but only because he’s been healthy the entire year. When Yoenis Cespedes has played, he’s been a threat to hit one out at each at-bat. Did you see his first career walk-off home run to complete a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers? Brandon Inge, signed when he was sent packing from the Detroit Tigers early in the season, has been solid at third base and clutch at the plate. Remember his walk-off grand slam?
Then there was the addition of Brandon Moss in early June. According to Joe Stiglich of Bay Area News Group, Moss had an option in his minor league contract to become a free agent if he wasn’t on a MLB roster by June 15.
Just 18 games in, and seven homers and 12 RBI by Moss later, is anybody missing Daric Barton or Kila Ka'aihue? That was a great move by Beane.
Then there was the call up of catcher Derek Norris and Brandon Hicks, in part, because of their power numbers at Triple-A Sacramento. (Now I’m not saying I’m a psychic, but maybe Billy Beane peeked at this article I wrote last week, discussing some minor leaguers who could help the A’s power wise?) Norris gave the A’s their only victory of the second Bay Bridge series of the season by clubbing a three-run walk-off homer to the bleachers in right on Sunday. Hicks has only played in two games, but has a pair of doubles already.
Now if the A’s go on a 12-game losing streak, sure, it may be time for Beane to strap on his GM hat and start dealing, but give Oakland until the break to get over the .500 mark. See if it can chip into the Texas Rangers' nine-game lead at the top of the division in the coming days.
Blowing up the team before the break would be a mistake. This is the rebuilt A’s. If this is the foundation Beane wants to build on for the next few years, it’s certainly looking solid, for the moment.
No need to bring out the demolition crew once again, yet