X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

MLB Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics Rumors: 5 Whispers Leading Up To Trade Deadline

Oakland Athletics Rumors: 5 Whispers a Month Before Trade Deadline

Jeff Samardzija Oakland Athletics
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The major league-leading Oakland Athletics already boasted one of the best pitching staffs in baseball before acquiring former Cubs' starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in the first mega-deal of the 2014 season. The A's are now clear-cut favorites to win their first AL pennant since 1989, although they remain in legitimate position to make additional roster-altering deals. GM Billy Beane will not relinquish his aggressive mindset.

5. David Price Has Been Ruled Out

David Price MLB Rumors
Getty Images

5. David Price Has Been Ruled Out

David Price MLB Rumors
Getty Images

The A's reportedly had interest in Rays' ace David Price, but GM Billy Beane has admitted that the move would neither make sense from an economical perspective nor from a personnel standpoint. Price is widely considered to be the biggest name available on the trade front this month, but he will be a free agent after the conclusion of the 2014 season and will seek a contract that exceeds 0 million. That figure is beyond the A's price range.

4. Added Bullpen Depth is Likely

Joaquin Benoit MLB Rumors
Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

4. Added Bullpen Depth is Likely

Joaquin Benoit MLB Rumors
Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

As most perennial contenders attempt to achieve before the annual non-waiver trade deadline, the A's figure to be in the mix for added bullpen help. Oakland's pitching staff is good enough as is, but Beane could be motivated to acquire current Padres' setup man Joaquin Benoit simply to keep the hard-throwing right-handed reliever away from the cross-division rival Tigers, who hold extreme interest. Benoit is one of the best relievers available.

3. Bolstering Infield Depth Could Be Priority

Josh Rutledge Colorado Rockies
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bolstering Infield Depth Could Be Priority

Josh Rutledge Colorado Rockies
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The only glaring problem that arose in the wake of Oakland's blockbuster trade was a noticeable future hole at shortstop. The Athletics' offense is good enough to win without consistently solid production out of that position, but Jed Lowrie doesn't figure to be a long-term answer. Addison Russell was supposed to be "the guy." Oakland could potentially try to strike a deal for Rockies' infielder Josh Rutledge, who owns a .290 average in 100 ABs.

2. Jason Hammel Won't Be Flipped

Jason Hammel Oakland Athletics
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Jason Hammel Won't Be Flipped

Jason Hammel Oakland Athletics
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Immediate reaction after the A's acquired both Samardzija and Hammel was that it was possible Beane had potentially set up a quick flip job. All indications now point toward unsubstantiated rumors involving an additional trade with Hammel as the centerpiece to be nonexistent. The A's believe they now have the pieces in place to contend for a World Series title. Trading one of those pieces simply wouldn't make sense at this point.

1. Jim Johnson is Trade Bait

Jim Johnson Oakland Athletics
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jim Johnson is Trade Bait

Jim Johnson Oakland Athletics
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

If the A's are able to bring in another reliever before the deadline, such as Benoit or Phillies' reliever Antonio Bastardo, former closer Jim Johnson would immediately become expendable, as if he isn't already. The Johnson experiment has been the only miserable failure of Oakland's season to date, but he still holds value on the open market. The division-rival Angels are one team that would reportedly be interested in taking a flier on Johnson.