Peter Christian, Paul M. Banks & Soxman break down what each MLB contender needs to make the play-offs
Trade Rumors begin to heat up as the MLB trade deadline approaches.Â The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 31. Until then teams may trade players freely without having to go through the waiver process.
Since they have already been the leagueâ€™s most active team in trades it appears that the Aâ€™s are trying out an unorthodox theory of winning while rebuilding. Billy Beane is one of the most active GMâ€™s in the league in the effort to sell high and buy low. The dealing of Rich Harden, Chad Gaudin and Joe Blanton netted the Aâ€™s 7 prospects and should allow Beane a chance to utilize his already deep farm system to put the best team on the field down the stretch. However, Beane might not be done wheeling and dealing yet. With injuries to the bulk of their veterans (Eric Chavez, Frank Thomas, Mike Sweeney and Keith Foulke) the Aâ€™s only have four active players over the age of 30 on their roster (Alan Embree, Justin Duchscherer, Mark Ellis and Emil Brown). All of those active players have been mentioned in trade rumors. It is pretty unusual that a team still in the thick of the Wild Card race (and 10 games back of a team that I get the collapse vibe from) would be in such a â€œfire saleâ€ mode, but with the stockpile of talent that Oakland has built up it might just be time to let the kids play.
This may be the most interesting team to watch these last few days because everyone in need of pitching will covet them; they possess the best starter (Justin Duchscherer) and bullpen guy (Huston Street) still available. Iâ€™ll be honest: the Athletics are quickly becoming my third favorite team. (Cubs are second) As an MBA grad, I have a soft spot for the â€œMoneyballâ€ approach and enjoy watching good baseball mix with good financial discipline and theyâ€™re also the parent club of my Kane County Cougars, the minor league team that Iâ€™ve covered extensively and grown affection forâ€¦.Doesnâ€™t hurt that my final two years of little league the team I played for was the Aâ€™s as well.Â It will be also be fascinating to see what happens when the Aâ€™s move in to Cisco Field in 2012, will this bring in a new stream of revenue? Will it change their economic philosophy?
–Paul M. Banks
Despite being in second place at the break, it is completely obvious GM Billy Beane is waving the White Flag on the 2008 Season and re-stocking with top prospects.Â With the trades of Dan Haren, Rich Harden, and Joe Blanton, it would be a miracle to see the Aâ€™s make the play-offs.Â The biggest rumor surrounding the Aâ€™s isâ€ â€œWho will be traded next?â€Â Huston Street could draw a great deal on interest as could Mark Ellis.
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