Oakland Athletics: 5 Trade Targets For Club to Consider Before End of August
Oakland Athletics: 5 August Trade Targets
Admittedly, the switch-hitting infielder is three for his last 29, and hitting just .250 on the year. However, the 5-foot-9 native of Maracay, Venezuela, who is listed at an improbable 225 pounds, is a career .301 hitter off left-handers. So, Callaspo should offer an excellent fit for a club that has struggled mightily against lefties.
If recent history is any indicator, more moves could be in works.
Last year, GM Billy Beane acquired shortstop Stephen Drew, then of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in exchange for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson on Aug. 20.
Drew didn't end up hitting that much for the Athletics as he batted .250 with five home runs in 39 games, but his arrival was crucial to the team's run into the playoffs. With Drew at short, the sure-handed Cliff Pennington slid over to second base as the team solidified its defense up the middle.
As more teams topple out of playoff contention as the month of August wears on, more and more players will become available on the waiver wire. Up until Aug. 31, any player can be traded for and included on a team's playoff roster so long as they pass through waivers unclaimed.
It's a tricky game to play, as the Athletics just learned with the loss of Adam Rosales to the Texas Rangers. Perhaps the light-hitting infielder was picked up for his glove, or perhaps it was a bit of gamesmanship from the AL West rivals.
Generally, well-compensated yet underperforming players are the kind of guys who slide thorugh waivers, just like Drew in 2012.
So, here is a list of five players that, waivers permitting, the Athletics should consider snapping up in August.
Michael Morse takes home $6.75 million in 2013, and it's almost hard to believe that the big dude originally came up as a shortstop. He makes for a good waiver-trade target as he's a proven slugger who has scuffled in 2013. He's only hitting .241 for the Seattle Mariners, but back in 2011, he crushed 31 home runs for the Washington Nationals.
Glen Perkins is left-handed, only makes $2.5 million and he deals (1.98 ERA in 2013). The Athletics could slide the current closer of the Minnesota Twins into a setup gig, which would push the rest of the team's talented relievers down the depth chart, and into more ideal roles.
Oliver Perez had a brutal month of July, as the veteran left-hander served up seven runs in nine innings. Then again, you can never have too many arms in the pen, and on the season, Perez has K'd 54 batters in 39 innings. So, clearly the 31-year-old, with 11 years of big league experience, is still missing quite a few bats for the Mariners. He's owed $1.5 million, which actually hurts his chances of reaching the Athletics on waivers.
Michael Cuddyer has launched 17 bombs for the Colorado Rockies this year. Due to his contractual situation -- he's owed $10.5 million this year, and the same amount in 2014 — he might just slip through waivers.
Sure, he's playing at Coors Field, but the 2011 and 2013 All-Star has mashed lefties and righties this year, and is hitting just below .330 with a an OPS just south of 1.000. The Rockies certainly don't have to even think about placing Cuddyer on waivers, but if they do, it would prove the perfect moment to sell high on the 34-year-old.
Marlon Byrd also has 17 jacks in 2013. He's hitting .310 off lefties, and he makes just $700,000 this year with the New York Mets. So, he's eating up less than one percent of the club's payroll and providing perhaps 20-times the production. So, I can't imagine why competing AL teams (or any NL club for that matter, as he must pass through his own league first) would let him fall to the Athletics. But if he did, he would be a cheap and productive option in an outfield currently weighted down by well-paid yet underperforming veterans