Oakland A's Trade Scenarios: 5 Players They Should Target for a Playoff Run
Coming off a four-game sweep of the Yankees and losing only once so far in the second half of the season, the Athletics' confidence is currently at an all-time high. Finding themselves in a position few thought they would be in at this point in the year (the playoff hunt), the A's have now surely become buyers come the July 31st trade deadline.
Oakland shouldn't need much help, just one or two guys max at key positions, mainly on the left side of the infield. With no answer at all right now at short, and Brandon Inge in a year long slump, the A's could use a serious boost in one, if not both of those spots.
Luckily for them there are numerous options at those two positions, so with their revamped farm system, acquiring an extra bat for a playoff push should be very possible if they decide to do so. Here are five guys the A's may go after come the trade deadline.
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Hearing his name a lot in trade rumors, the competition amongst teams might actually drive Headley's price up. Already out of contention and having top prospect Jedd Gyorko waiting in the wings, San Diego appears to be very keen on moving Headley.
The A's have also worked with San Diego in the past, so it's not as if the two clubs are foreign to one another either. Coincidentally enough, the A's acquired another third baseman from San Diego a few seasons ago, Kevin Kouzmanoff. That trade didn't work out well for the A's, so hopefully this time around, Headley would perform up to expectations if a deal should happen.
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Coming off a serious injury, and not quite living up to the high expectations bestowed upon him every year, it might be time for the Diamondbacks and Stephen Drew to part, and a fresh start in Oakland may just be what Drew needs.
Never being the superstar Arizona hoped for, Drew has instead been a very reliable and steady player, something you couldn't really say about the A's in recent years. Having a gaping hole at shortstop right now, Drew would step in and be the everyday guy at that spot.
Having just come back from a serious ankle injury, it should take some time for Drew to regain his old form, but once he does he could be the jolt the A's need if they're to endure their brutal schedule the last couple months of the season.
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If the A's can't snag Drew away from Arizona, Escobar could be a nice plan B. Having a familiarity with the American League would also be a plus seeing as how that would be just another adjustment Drew would have to make.
If Toronto turns into major sellers come the trade deadline, Escobar could be a very nice, under the radar kind of acquisition. He's not going to blow anyone away, but at a position of constant flux for the A's, any sort of consistency at short would be welcome.
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Like Drew in Arizona, if the A's were to lose out on the younger and cheaper Headley, the experienced Ramirez could be a nice backup plan. The only real concern with Ramirez is his contract.
He just signed with Milwaukee on a three-year, $36 million deal that the A's would have a hard time covering. If he is traded to Oakland, the Brewers would have to take on a decent amount of that contract.
In the end, it may not be worth the prospects and money required to make a deal for the veteran Ramirez, and the A's should only make a move if they feel they have a serious chance to make a run at the playoffs.
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An extreme long shot, but if the Royals make Butler available, Billy Beane should be one of the first GMs to pick up the phone. An experienced and talented hitter, Butler would significantly make Oakland's lineup better.
Stick him between or behind Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes, and suddenly, Oakland has a very scary middle of the lineup, something that's been seriously lacking for some time.
Also possessing a manageable contract, Butler wouldn't kill Oakland's payroll either, especially if they decide to part ways with Kurt Suzuki. In a division that has Anaheim and Texas, the A's need their offense to step up down the stretch so they won't have to constantly rely on their rookie-heavy rotation.
If Beane could somehow pull off this trade, it may be the momentum the A's need to actually shock the baseball world and sneak into the playoffs.