“I’ll take this team the way it is right now versus anybody.”
These were the words of Derek Norris, the catcher of the Oakland Athletics, spoken to Mark Purdy of the Bay Area News Group. The clutch, second-year catcher just might be right.
Norris did point out that he would fully support any trade, but his comments underscore the confidence that the 24-year-old, arguably one of the young leaders of the team, has in the squad as it is currently constructed.
So far during the MLB trade season, the Athletics have been linked with a number of players, most notably veteran right-hander Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox. The team has also looked into adding a bullpen arm or an extra infielder, but the fact is this summer’s trade market is less than compelling.
With the second wild card now in play, far more teams are in (or at least think they are in) the playoff hunt. As a result, there are simply fewer sellers out there and a lack of fairly-valued trade targets to pursue.
Last season, arguably the biggest splash that the club made came three weeks after the non-waiver trade deadline. GM Billy Beane picked up shortstop Stephen Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a minor league infielder on August 20.
Perhaps 2013 will be the same. With an underwhelming trade market, a six-game lead in the AL West and a deep roster, the Athletics might just be best served sitting tight, at least for now.