Well the non-waiver trade deadline is six days away, and the A’s are fighting with the Mariners to stay out of last place in the AL West. So, what’s a selling team to do? There aren’t going to be any blockbusters, but there will be something. Here are my suggestions:
Coco Crisp: He’s given us speed, excellent defense in center field, some killer hair-dos. But with the emergence of Jemile Weeks as the team’s leadoff hitter going forward, there isn’t much left for Crisp to do in Oakland. There are a handful of teams that could use a guy like Crisp in center or left field for the stretch drive, so trade him for whatever you can get for him.
Conor Jackson: The one year test drive of Jackson was a nice try. He has his moments, but there just isn’t much of a reason for him to be here. Lots of teams are looking for a right handed hitting corner outfielder, and Jackson is that. He’s no world beater, but he has experience. Trade him for whatever you can get for him.
Relievers not named Andrew Bailey: I’m sure Brian Fuentes has little to no trade value, but if someone will take him, by all means, give him to them. Craig Breslow and Grant Balfour could probably net you a little something. I don’t see much reason to keep these guys if you can actually get something for them.
David DeJesus: DeJesus has had a disappointing season, but he’s a career .284 hitter and can certainly play better. He’s a good defensive outfielder as well. I think he’s a great buy-low candidate. I would try to sign him to a short extension and count on him being much better in 2012.
Josh Willingham: The one thing the A’s have really lacked over the years is power. Willingham is a power hitter. Sure, he doesn’t hit for average, plays below average defense, and has some injury history. But there is nobody in the A’s minor league system who projects to have Willingham-like power. OK, maybe Chris Carter, but the jury is still out on on him. There is no reason to unload Willingham when the free agent outfield market is weak and he could net draft picks. I’d even try to keep him beyond this season as well.
Call up and play
Chris Carter: Give him the first base job from now on after Jackson is traded. Let him take his lumps and work with Mike Gallego. Sure, he’s probably the future DH, but get him some defensive innings now and see if he can at least be serviceable. He needs to be taking his at-bats at the major league level.
Michael Taylor: It’s time. I know he hasn’t been what we hoped he’d be when the A’s traded the last piece of what was once Carlos Gonzalez/Huston Street, but he has shown improvement this season. Get him up here and play him in the outfield at least four or five days a week. It’s time for him to get some major league experience.