MLB Oakland Athletics

5 Oakland Athletics Who Must Be Dealt Before 2014 Trade Deadline

5 Oakland Athletics Who Must Be Dealt Before 2014 Trade Deadline

Eric Sogard Oakland Athletics
Robert Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics are the most dangerous offensive team in baseball, fueling the game's best record (44-28). Their potent lineup averages nearly 5.2 runs per game to lead the league. Oakland also boasts one of the most dominant pitching staffs in the game, ranking first in team ERA (3.03), WHIP (1.16) and batting average against (.229). Still, the A's can become even better by dealing a few marginal contributors from their 40-man roster.

5. Daric Barton (1B)

Daric Barton Oakland Athletics
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Daric Barton (1B)

Daric Barton Oakland Athletics
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics' former starting first baseman was once thought to be a perennial difference-maker in the middle of the lineup. Barton led all of baseball with 110 walks in 2010, recording a highly efficient .393 on-base percentage. His lack of power (30 career HRs) has been discouraging, though. Barton no longer has value in the A's organization, but it's possible for another team to take a flier on the career .247 hitter for a prospect in return.

4. Jim Johnson (RHP)

Jim Johnson Oakland Athletics
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jim Johnson (RHP)

Jim Johnson Oakland Athletics
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

General manager Billy Beane had seemingly worked his magic, acquiring Johnson in an offseason trade. The right-handed reliever led all of baseball with a combined 101 saves over the past two seasons, but he has been a glaring disappointment for the A's in 2014. The 30-year-old "closer" owns a 6.18 ERA in 28 appearances this season. He's managed to save just two games, allowing 12.7 H/9. If he can be dealt, Beane needs to pull the trigger.

3. Jeff Francis (LHP)

Jeff Francis Oakland Athletics
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jeff Francis (LHP)

Jeff Francis Oakland Athletics
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The A's don't have a shortage of left-handed pitchers on their staff, mitigating the need for Francis, who has failed to produce positive results in Oakland. The former first-round pick was claimed off waivers last month but hasn't been able to revitalize his career despite a fresh start. Francis has registered an 8.22 ERA in 7.2 innings of work with Oakland. He doesn't boast much trade value but has no business being on the Athletics' roster.

2. Josh Reddick (OF)

Josh Reddick Oakland Athletics
Robert Stanton-USA Today Sports

2. Josh Reddick (OF)

Josh Reddick Oakland Athletics
Robert Stanton-USA Today Sports

Reddick was a vital component of the A's 2012 team that shocked the baseball world en route to upsetting the Rangers to win the AL West. He smashed 32 home runs while driving-in 85 runs that season but hasn't produced anywhere near that level since. Reddick currently resides on the 15-day DL, recording a .214 batting average in 168 at bats. Offseason pickup Craig Gentry has proven more productive in the wake of Reddick's absence from the lineup.

1. Eric Sogard (2B)

Eric Sogard Oakland Athletics
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Eric Sogard (2B)

Eric Sogard Oakland Athletics
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Sogard earned a starting job after a mostly productive 2013 campaign, recording a .266 batting average with 29 extra-base hits and 35 RBIs. He hasn't demonstrated the ability to remain consistent in 2014, though. Sogard is currently riding the interstate with a .199 average. The A's could potentially improve their offense by infusing Nick Punto into the everyday lineup and parting with Sogard, who boasts value as a solid infield defender.

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