Monday, July 23, 2012

Trade Deadline Analysis: Athletics

Last week, we talked about what the Giants will be doing as we approach the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. Today, we'll take a look at the A's who, surprisingly, should be looking to "buy" this year.

Marco Scutaro
There has been no shortage of Oakland A's hype across the Bay Area and even on the internet lately, and it peaked after their four-game sweep of the Yankees this weekend. For people who thought the A's were jokes, that weekend beat down of New York certainly changed their perspective. It seems like every year the A's put together a run like this one, but ultimately fade out towards the end of the year, but this team is showing no signs of slowing down. They've made so much noise in July that even their fans are starting to expect GM Billy Beane to make a move or two to help this team out for their second half surge. The general consensus around baseball is that the A's, like their cross-bay rivals, will be scouring the market for serviceable bats this summer. The problem with the A's situation right now though, is they need a shortstop badly, and could use another 3rd basemen as well. They could look into a second-tier guy like Marco Scutaro, but teams just aren't looking to make deals this summer and definitely not good, useful shortstops.

Carlos Ruiz
With the extra wild card team coming into play this year, only a handful of teams are legitimately out of contention right now, and the teams that are out, don't really matchup with Oakland's needs. The A's have the resources in terms of young talented players in their system to deal, but is there a guy worth breaking the bank for? I don't think so. Catcher is another spot the A's are currently below league average, and could definitely use an upgrade and Carlos Ruiz would be a great add. He's also the top catcher on the market right now and will likely take a bidding war to acquire. Again, much like with San Francisco, I have a hard time seeing them doing anything each shattering between now and the 31st. Their biggest move could come within when a couple of their own players get healthy and make their anticipated return next month. Opening Day starter Brandon McCarthy, and ace Brett Anderson, are each a few weeks out (barring setbacks) and the A's are expecting both ready by August. Oakland's starters have been solid, but Brett Anderson is their most talented arm and will provide a huge boost.

Things could start to pick up now on the trade front with Ichiro Suzuki being shipped to New York Monday. Usually it just takes one to get the ball rolling, and even though I'm not expecting a plethora of moves this year by anyone, I do have a feeling both the A's and Giants will do something to help themselves, so stay tuned!

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