By now it should be pretty clear that no matter how much Oakland A's fans clamor for a "big" trade, it won't happen. Instead, expect an under-the-radar player to be acquired, if any at all.
The A's have a knack for doing it. Just this season, they traded for Kyle Blanks. Blanks was a top prospect when first drafted, but never quite lived up to the hype. Now as a platoon first baseman for Oakland, he's doing everything expected.
That's the kind of guy you'll get.
First and foremost, an "under-the-radar" player means they aren't a big name. Sure, it'd be an under-the-radar move to acquire a big name no one knew was on the block. However, the chances of that don't seem very likely.
Therefore, names like Chase Utley or Ben Zobrist won't make this list. (But, boy, wouldn't either be a great add?)
Next, you have to look at teams that make sense.
Teams that are out of playoff contention already are good trade candidates. Teams that may be in contention and have a glaring weakness also could work, but trading to a strong playoff contender in the A's doesn't make sense if there's the potential to meet them in October. So for these purposes, we'll stick to bottom-dwelling teams.
Last, you need to know your team needs.
Catcher is stacked. First base is already platooning and doing a fine job. Shortstop and third base are high-caliber as is. Same goes for the outfield. When and if Josh Reddick struggles, Brandon Moss and Craig Gentry are options.
That leaves a back-end starting pitcher, a reliever and second base.
A pitcher—reliever or starter—would be a luxury, not a necessity. At second, it's doubtful you'll see an All-Star come in and take over. Get used to the platoons. For this position, though, it's about finding someone who can and will platoon, but will also do a better job than the current performers.
Let's see a few names at each position.
All statistics via Baseball-reference.com and are current as of June 11, 2014.