When it comes to the MLB waiver trade deadline, the Oakland Athletics' approach could be aptly titled "All Quiet on the Western Front." Then again, general manager Billy Beane has never been one to show his cards, so this shouldn't come as a surprise.
At this point, the A's have talent on both sides of the ball. It's just a matter of the two clicking simultaneously.
Four-fifths of the starting rotation could end up with a dozen wins. The offense is well-rounded with speed from Coco Crisp and Eric Sogard, consistency from the left side of the infield and power from Brandon Moss and Yoenis Cespedes.
There isn't much news on the green and gold front, but here's a look at a few tidbits that have circulated.
The A's Might be in the Market for a Catcher
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland might be forced to kick the tires on a catcher.
With no other catchers on 40 man roster and no timetable for Jaso return, #Athletics might have to start scanning waiver wire for catchers.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 10, 2013
It's not necessarily that Derek Norris' .230 average is the factor. It's more that John Jaso is currently on the 15-day disabled list with no timetable for a return. Moreover, Norris, Donaldson—a former catcher—and Luke Montz (Triple-A) aren't 100 percent healthy either, writes Slusser.
That leaves Stephen Vogt as the lone healthy catcher on the roster.
Unfortunately, the A's don't exactly have an Easter basket full of goodies to choose from at this point when it comes to available catchers.
John Buck might be available, but a .217 average (.182 in the last 14 days) isn't much of an improvement. If Oakland is simply looking for anyone with experience behind the dish, he could do, but giving up any kind of prospect for Buck doesn't make too much sense.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune speculated in early July that the Chicago Cubs might move Dioner Navarro. He's hitting a quality .287 with nine home runs in a limited role, including an average over .400 against lefty pitchers. Those same stats should inflate his price tag, though.
Zolecki does a pretty good job of turning everyone off of Ruiz, though, with a powerful statement such as this:
He turns 35 in January, he has spent each of the past five seasons on the disabled list and he is in the midst of his worst offensive season since 2008, which comes on the heels of a 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant.
When it comes to Jaso, concussions aren't the type of injury that one fully recovers from in a set amount of time. Just ask the NHL's Sidney Crosby. And the more Norris continues to play, the more difficult it becomes to restore to full health.
But the AL West race is tight.
Because of that, the A's might not be in a position where they can afford to hope for the best from Norris and Jaso. Navarro is a great option, but he's going to cost the most in terms of prospects. Ruiz is much too risky.
If the A's just need a healthy body for cheap and aren't worried about upgrading, Buck might be the guy to look into.
Adam Rosales claimed by Texas
For the third time in 11 days, utility infielder Adam Rosales switched teams, as confirmed by Xander Zellner of USA Today.
The A's designated Rosales for assignment after trading for Alberto Callaspo. The Rangers originally picked him up but then designated him a few days later. The A's claimed him, only to DFA him once more to make room for Sonny Gray.
And so he goes back to Texas.
Will he come back to Oakland for a third stint? It's quite unlikely, simply because the events that have already unfolded have been so bizarre. The chances of it happening once again seems quite slim. The next most plausible move sees Gray or Dan Straily go down in favor of Tommy Milone coming back up.
Then they'll have yet another decision to make once Brett Anderson returns from injury.
Talk of Adding a Reliever Hushes
Back on July 30, Slusser spoke about the potential Jake Peavy trade, but said:
The one area where there are available players is the bullpen, with several teams dangling relievers, so it’s quite possible that if the A’s cannot land a big fish such as Peavy that they might settle for adding a reliever, even though Brett Anderson could come off the DL next month in a bullpen role. Many years, Beane has added a reliever or two after the All-Star break.
Jim Bowden of ESPN confirmed the sentiment one day after:
A's still pursuing bullpen depth— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 31, 2013
Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
With Gray proving his worth and Anderson returning, it seems there's a plethora of arms.
Both of these guys could move into the bullpen. Or they could take two spots in the rotation and bump others (Straily, Griffin and Milone are options) into the 'pen. With the addition of an outside reliever, Oakland would then have 15 pitchers to choose from.
With so many pitchers already, it doesn't seem likely that the A's add a reliever. I wouldn't hold your breath on a Rosie return either. And a catcher may not be en route.
When the A's were thought to need a major splash most, Beane brought in Callaspo only. It's hard to see him making a move now when the need is even less.
Then again, stranger and more surprising moves have happened.
Rosales can attest to that.