Amid rumblings that the Oakland Athletics are looking into reducing their payroll, several of their veteran players are reportedly available in trades.
Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea are among the players that Oakland is willing to take offers on, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
In a recent interview with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, A's general manager David Forst indicated that ownership may look to reduce payroll before the 2022 season.
"I think right now we’re in the middle of those conversations with [ownership],” said Forst. "We don’t have exact direction yet. But you look at our history, and we have three- or four-year runs and recognize where we are makes it necessary to step back. But we have not gotten to that point yet with ownership."
USA Today's Bob Nightengale cited two MLB executives who believe the Athletics are planning to go with a "major-league low $50 million (payroll) for the 2022 season."
The A's have several players who could be attractive trade candidates, including Gold Glove third baseman Matt Chapman and first baseman Matt Olson. It's unclear if the team is going to make either of them available.
Bassitt and Manaea both have one more year of team control before they can become free agents. Montas is under team control for two more seasons before hitting free agency after 2023.
The combination of Montas' age (28) and team control would likely make him the most attractive trade chip for Oakland. He finished 2021 with a 3.37 ERA, setting career highs in starts (32), innings pitched (187) and strikeouts (207).
Bassitt, 32, led the A's starters with a 3.15 ERA and was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career this season.
Manaea, 29, had a career year in 2021 with a 3.91 ERA and 194 strikeouts in 179.1 innings over 32 starts. The southpaw tied for the MLB lead with two complete-game shutouts.
Oakland finished the season with an 86-76 record but missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2017.