Even after acquiring two valuable starting pitchers in the form of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs on the Fourth of July, it doesn’t appear that the Oakland Athletics are done dealing. General manager Billy Beane, who normally plays his cards close to the vest, wasn’t shy in indicating that more moves could be on the way.
More moves ahead? Beane: "We're not just going to stop and shut everything down. We've got 3-plus weeks until the trade deadline."
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 5, 2014
One such move could be for an upgrade at second base. The A’s have platooned Eric Sogard, Nick Punto and Alberto Callaspo at that position this season. All three are hitting below .240 on the season. If we were to look at one whole on a team that posssesses the best record in baseball, it would be right there.
Names thrown around in general trade conversations include Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays and Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies. The one issue with attempting to acquire one of those two is the fact that Oakland dealt its two top prospects in Addison Russell and Billy McKinney to the Cubs in the Samardzija/Hammel deal. That leaves them rather thin down on the farm.
With that said, Oakland did option Tommy Milone to Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday because there is literally no room for him in the rotation. The crafty lefty is 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA on the season and has allowed just 20 earned runs in his last 11 starts. He could very well be used as part of a package for either Zobrist or Utley.
Either way, we wouldn’t be surprised is Beane pulled off another deal or two prior to the trade deadline later this month.
Photo: NBC Sports