Athletics

Ranking the top three August trade deadline deals in Oakland A's history

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AP

Ranking the top three August trade deadline deals in Oakland A's history

Among the rule changes adopted by Major League Baseball this season is the elimination of the August trade period which used to follow the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

In previous years, teams could still make trades after the deadline by simply placing the players involved on waivers first. Now there will be just one trade deadline at the end of July.

With the August trade period now a thing of the past, we rank the three best August trades in Oakland A's history:

3. Mike Fiers for Nolan Blackwood and Logan Shore (August 6, 2018)

In desperate need of starting pitching, Oakland acquired veteran right-hander Mike Fiers from the Tigers in exchange for two players to be named later. Those players ended up being minor league pitchers Nolan Blackwood and Logan Shore.

Fiers helped propel the A's to the postseason, going 5-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 10 games with Oakland. The A's re-signed Fiers to a two-year deal this offseason and he will be their Opening Day starter.

Of course, the jury is still out on Blackwood and Shore, but neither were ranked among the A's top 10 prospects by MLB Pipeline, and Oakland has plenty of young pitching depth to soften their loss.

2. Storm Davis for Dave Leiper and Rob Nelson (August 30, 1987)

In late August of 1987, the A's acquired 25-year-old right-hander Storm Davis from the Padres in exchange for left-handed reliever Dave Leiper and first baseman Rob Nelson. Davis stuck around for three seasons, helping Oakland to its 1989 World Series title.

Davis' best year with the A's came in 1988 when he finished 16-7 with a 3.70 ERA. He followed that up with a 19-7 record and 4.36 ERA in 1989.

Leiper and Nelson never really materialized for San Diego. Nelson played a total of 76 games in his MLB career, finishing with a .178 batting average. Leiper spent three seasons with the Padres, recording an ERA of 3.38 in 98 2/3 innings, before ultimately returning to Oakland in 1994.

1. Harold Baines for Joe Bitker and Scott Chiamparino (August 29, 1990)

This was a steal. Oakland swindled the Texas Rangers for Hall of Fame outfielder and designated hitter Harold Baines, giving up right-handers Joe Bitker and Scott Chiamparino. The two pitchers combined for just three wins in their major league careers.

Baines spent three solid seasons in Oakland, hitting .274/.360/.431 with 39 home runs, 48 doubles, and 187 RBI. Baines made the All-Star Game in 1991, finishing the year with a .295/.383/.473 slash line.

Baines also made an impact in the playoffs, helping the A's reach the World Series in 1990 and the American League Championship Series in 1992. Between the two postseasons, he hit .333 (17-for-51) with two home runs and nine RBI.
 

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

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USATSI

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

A's closer Liam Hendriks is one of three finalists for the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.

Hendriks is joined by Astros closer Roberto Osuna and Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. The NL finalists are Josh Hader, Will Smith, and Kirby Yates.

Hendriks, 30, enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, recording a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. The right-hander notched 124 strikeouts in 85 innings, an A's franchise record for relievers, compared to just 21 walks.

Hendriks took over closing duties from Blake Treinen in the middle of the season and finished with 25 saves, along with eight holds. His 124 punchouts led AL relief pitchers and his 1.80 ERA ranked second among AL relievers with at least 40 innings.

Osuna posted a 2.63 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, with 73 strikeouts in 65 innings. Chapman finished with a 2.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, striking out 85 in 57 innings.

[RELATED: Hendriks' energy a big part of A's success]

The voting will be conducted by a panel of eight all-time great relief pitchers: Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco, and Billy Wagner. Both the AL and NL awards will be presented on October 26, before Game 4 of the World Series.

Why A's should move on from Robbie Grossman in final arbitration year

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USATSI

Why A's should move on from Robbie Grossman in final arbitration year

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine 10 A's players who may or may not return to Oakland next season. For each player, we will provide reasons why the A's should bring him back and reasons why they should not, followed by a final determination.

Robbie Grossman, OF

Contract: Final year of arbitration (projected to get $3.3 million after earning $2 million this season)

Reasons to bring him back

Grossman provides versatility as a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions. He also has a strong record of reaching base, maintaining a .351 on-base percentage throughout his career.

The A's lineup is extremely right-handed heavy and they could certainly use another left-handed bat, particularly in the outfield. For $3.3 million, Grossman could add some value as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Reasons to let him go

Grossman is coming off his worst season since 2015, hitting just .240/.334/.348 with six home runs and 38 RBI in 138 games. The 30-year-old has never provided much power, averaging just six homers per season in his career, with a high of 11 in 2016.

Oakland already has a crowded outfield with Ramón Laureano, Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty, and Chad Pinder. The A's also have Dustin Fowler, Skye Bolt, and Seth Brown awaiting their opportunity in the minor leagues. Grossman isn't necessarily an upgrade over any of those names.

Final verdict

Due to their excellent outfield depth, the A's should move on without Grossman in 2020. That $3.3 million could be better spent in other areas -- relief pitching, as an example.

[RELATED: A's stay or go candidate for 2020 season: Josh Phegley]

If Grossman were to return, he would almost certainly be a bench player, and as we've noted, Oakland has plenty of other options to fill those fourth and fifth outfielder roles for far less than $3.3 million.