As the July 31 MLB trade deadline approaches, the A's are right there in the playoff hunt once again.
Entering Monday, the A's currently are the second AL wild card team and sit just one game behind the Indians for the first slot. While they are 6.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West, there's no reason to completely count them out in the division race, too.
With their eyes on October, could the A's be in the market to land a big name before the deadline?
The A's "have inquired" on starting pitchers Marcus Stroman and Mike Minor, The Athletic's Jim Bowden reported Monday. Both pitchers are highly likely to be traded, as the Blue Jays and Rangers are expected to be sellers.
Oakland could be a perfect match.
Though the A's recently acquired Homer Bailey in a trade with the Royals, the team could use more help in their rotation as they lack a true ace. Stroman or Minor would fill that role right away.
Stroman, 28, earned his first trip to the All-Star Game this year. He's bounced back from a rough 2018 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.249 WHIP in 20 starts this season.
Minor, 31, also earned his appearance in the Midsummer Classic this season. He boasts a 2.86 ERA and 1.163 WHIP.
Through the first half of the season, the A's have dealt with multiple injuries to their rotation and lost Frankie Montas to an 80-game PED suspension. Help should be on the way in Sean Manaea and A.J. Puk, but this team has seen firsthand how important depth is with their staff.
Quietly, the A's have positioned themselves for another push for the playoffs. It's time they put their cards on the table and add an ace.