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MLB Trade Rumors: 3 Bullpen Arms Oakland Athletics Could Sell Off to Contenders

Gean MayContributor IIJuly 25, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: 3 Bullpen Arms Oakland Athletics Could Sell Off to Contenders

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    In case you haven't noticed, there has been a huge debate lately over what the Oakland Athletics should do prior to the July 31st MLB trade deadline.

    There has been speculation on every player under the sun.  Should the A's dump this guy or that guy?  Josh Willingham is always a topic for discussion.  Coco Crisp's name has come up, along with Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey and many more.

    I'm in favor of the A's doing nothing significant by the deadline.

    Although when I was assigned this story I thought, "Wow, this is actually an idea I am on board with."

    If the A's have any players of value that they should try and use to better their future, looking to the bullpen makes the most sense.

    I have mentioned, ad nauseum, the A's should give the guys they acquired in the off-season some more time, and wait for their stellar pitching staff to reunite next year and go from there.

    This isn't GM Billy Beane's way, but the formula the A's had in place for 2011 was solid—it just seemed to fail because of so many injuries.

    I can hear you all screaming at the computer screen; the A's can't score runs, they need a big bat and the trades they made failed miserably.

    I agree that run support is a bit of a problem, but with their full arsenal of pitchers, the A's can make things work with the bats they have in place.

    Take a look across the Bay at the San Francisco Giants—not a lot of run support going on over there.

    With all this said, a team that is as far back as the A's are at this point in the season needs to do something to get some help for the future.

    The following are three players that are expendable and have enough talent to lure away some prospects that could help the team in the long run.

Michael Wuertz

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    Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow have drawn interest from other teams, and the A's have been taking calls on both players.

    Wuertz, in his third season with the A's, has struggled at times and has an ERA of 4.31.

    As was the case with Brian Fuentes, after Melvin took over, the bullpen has seemed to settle down a tad and has pitched better.

    With Beane working his magic like a used car salesman convincing a customer why he needs a five-year-old model instead of a brand-new car, the A's could receive some value for Wuertz.

Craig Breslow

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    Craig Breslow is also working on his third season as an Oakland Athletic.

    Breslow has an ERA of 3.28 in 2011, but he sits at 2.93 for his career as an A's pitcher. According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Yankees and Red Sox have targeted Breslow.

    Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reported that scouts from the RangersOrioles, Giants, PiratesBlue Jays, Brewers and Reds attended Oakland's game last Tuesday in Detroit, and several teams are interested in the left-handed veteran.

    According to Morosi, the Brewers are also "in the market for left-handed relief and [have] interest in Breslow," as do the Pirates and the Reds.

    With this kind of interest, Beane should be able to capitalize by possibly pitting interested teams against each other to drive up Breslow's value.

Brian Fuentes

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    Brian Fuentes is probably the most notable name on this list.

    It's no secret that Fuentes has struggled in 2011, but there were a lot of other factors involved during his bad patch that earned him a 1-8 record.  There was the public frustration from Fuentes over the general manner in which former A's manager Bob Geren was managing his pitchers.

    With Bob Melvin in place, the rotation has been managed better and Fuentes has settled down a bit.

    All in all, if the A's wanted to package a few bullpen guys, Fuentes would definitely sweeten the pot.

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