The Oakland Athletics’ trade deadline acquisitions are a direct result of the team being right in the middle of the Wild Card race. The A’s were in the same game last year, and it is clear that they needed help to get there this year. The team has battled many injuries to their pitching staff over the years, and this year was no different. The team needed reinforcements, and they found that in a couple of low cost options.
The Starting Pitching Trades
The team made two moves to acquire starting pitching. The first was to get Homer Bailey from the Royals. Bailey has not been the same pitcher he was to begin his career, but the Oakland A’s are always looking for bargains that could become something. He has pitched to a 5.20 ERA in his 22 games this year, and his statistics are hardly impressive. He is walking batters at an alarming clip of 3.7 per nine innings and just putting too many runners on base. According to ERA+, however, he has only been slightly below average at 98 and can help get the Athletics to the finish line. After all, they only gave up Kevin Merrell, a first round pick that has hardly lived up to his billing.
The other starter the team acquired is Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds. This is a clear upgrade over what they already had in the fold. Roark is pitching to a 4.14 ERA across his 22 games this year. The 32 year old is having a typical season for himself and most of his numbers are right in line with career norms. His ERA+ suggests that he has been above average this year as it is sitting at 111. Roark was also a relatively low cost as he was acquired for outfielder Jameson Hannah. Hannah is 21 and was taken in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft. He is considered a contact first hitter, which is a rare tool these days.
The Bullpen Trade
The Athletics also went shopping for some bullpen help at the trade deadline. The team needed another bullpen arm to round out the staff due to inconsistencies and injury. The A’s went for Jake Diekman from the Kansas City Royals. Diekman is an interesting target as he has not been a lights out bullpen option. He has pitched to a 4.91 ERA this season in 52 games. The A’s might be looking at Diekman in hopes of harnessing some success that he had with the Texas Rangers.
Diekman also came at a relatively low cost. The Royals received pitcher Ismael Aquino and outfielder Darion Blanco. The Royals are in a full rebuild and are looking to stock pile as much talent as possible. They both represent a lottery ticket and do not slot into the Royals top 30 prospects.
The Athletics Trade Deadline Conclusion
The Oakland Athletics trade deadline was completed in Oakland A’s fashion. The team spent very little to invest in the current team, but still added some much needed pitching help. These acquisitions should help the team in their chase for a second Wild Card berth in as many years. If the division had been closer, there may have been more of a splash. However, this is what people have come to expect out of the low spending Oakland Athletics.
It remains to be seen if the A’s will have better luck in the Wild Card this year. The fact remains it is not even a guarantee that they will even make it. The organization has not pushed the chips all in for a few years now. However, the team has still remained competitive while making low cost moves. It is an interesting formula, but to get to where they want to go, the team will need to make more than marginal upgrades.
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