Athletics

Report: Rival execs see A's trading for a starting pitcher

Athletics

With the 2020 MLB trade deadline closing in, the A's front office is beginning to make moves to fortify the roster.

General manager David Forst and executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane acquired versatile infielder Tommy La Stella on Friday night, and they might not be done.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Saturday that executives from other teams believe the A's will trade for a starting pitcher before Monday's 1 p.m. PT trade deadline.

The A's expected to have a dominant starting rotation when the 60-game 2020 season began in late July. But entering the doubleheader with the Houston Astros on Saturday, A's starters have a 4.53 ERA this season, which is 14th-best in MLB and 10th-best in the AL. That level of pitching won't cut in the postseason.

While Chris Bassitt has pitched well and rookie Jesus Luzardo has shown flashes of brilliance, Opening Day starter Frankie Montas has a 5.22 ERA. Veterans Mike Fiers and Sean Manaea have 4.86 and 5.64 ERAs, respectively.

During "A's Pregame Live" on Monday, NBC Sports California analysts Dave Stewart and Dontrelle Willis examined three starting pitchers that could be on the A's radar.

Stewart believes Texas Rangers starter Lance Lynn would be the perfect fit for the A's, rather than Giants starter Johnny Cueto or Los Angeles Angels starter Dylan Bundy.

"You have to look at the [league], and you have to say to yourself, 'Am I better than the Yankees? Am I better than Tampa? Am I better than Cleveland? Can I win the American League?' " Stewart said. "And if you can win the American League, then a pitcher like Lance Lynn, for me ... and the reason why I picked this guy is because he's cost-friendly, and this guy, when you put him on the mound, he's not afraid, he's got postseason experience, and when you put him on the mound, he matches with [Justin] Verlander, he matches with Gerrit Cole, he matches with any No. 1 in the league, in my opinion."

 
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Because Lynn is on a division rival, Forst and Beane might have to pay a premium for the veteran pitcher. But the A's have a legitimate chance to win the World Series this year, so it might be worth it to trade a prospect for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.