Despite already making the biggest trade of the MLB season, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane doesn’t appear content sitting idly by as the trade deadline looms. According to multiple reports around the baseball world, Oakland has emerged as a potential landing spot for Boston Red Sox staff ace Jon Lester, who is likely going to be moved prior to the non-waiver deadline on Thursday.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that there is “some involvement” between the A’s and Red Sox surrounding Lester.
This comes on the heels of a report by Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that has suggests the A’s are one six teams involved in direct talks with the Red Sox for Lester.
Six teams still in on Lester, according to source with direct knowledge: Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates, Blue Jays, Orioles, Athletics
— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) July 30, 2014
On the surface, this makes little sense. Oakland parted with its top two prospects in the deal that brought it both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. With Addison Russell and Billy McKinney out of the mix as potential prospects that could be moved for an upgrade to the Major League squad, the A’s don’t appear to have the necessary trade chips to land another top-tier starting pitcher.
In addition to that, Oakland boasts the deepest starting rotation in baseball. Both Drew Pomeranz and Tommy Milone are stuck at Triple-A Sacramento, even after performing extremely well with the A’s earlier in the year. Pure conjecture here, but one of the two might be involved in trade discussions with Boston. Pomeranz, a former top-five pick of the Cleveland Indians, has to be a more attractive option. Despite struggling earlier in his career, Pomeranz has turned it around in Oakland this year. He also boasts top-of-the-rotation type of stuff.
In terms of prospects the A’s could yield in a potential Lester deal, starter Raul Alcantara and infielder Daniel Robertson are the A’s top-two trade chips. While Robertson is said to be off limits, so was Addison Russell prior to being moved to the Chicago Cubs. In reality, Beane may very well be showing his hand right now. He’s all in for the 2014 season and no one is off limits in a potential deal.