With the July 30 MLB trade deadline approaching, the Athletics expect to be buyers as they battle for the AL West crown.
A’s general manager David Forst recently said one of the big objectives heading toward the deadline would be to acquire bullpen arms. Over the last few seasons, the pen has been one of the team's strong points.
This season, however, the bullpen has a collective 4.15 ERA, almost double what it was last year (2.72).
There also have been recent reports saying the A’s would like to add a power bat to the outfield, which they also could do.
Here are six names that could be intriguing for Oakland to add to their roster as they make a playoff push.
Note: All stats are through end of play on Thursday, July 1.
Trevor Story, Shortstop -- Colorado Rockies
The A’s reportedly planned on taking a look at Story after he came off the Injured List with elbow inflammation last month.
Up the middle, the A’s have struggled defensively this season, but adding Story ultimately would be because of his bat. With Story set to hit free agency this offseason, he reportedly has no desire to re-sign with the Rockies.
This season, Story is hitting .259 with 16 doubles, nine homers and 36 RBI in 283 trips to the plate.
The A's reported interest in Story, of course, was before shortstop Elvis Andrus’ recent spike in production at the plate. In his last eight games, he is slashing .303/.294/.364 with 10 hits and only five strikeouts in 34 plate appearances.
Andrus’ production could fall at the wayside, but an adding a star like Story could fill the void Marcus Semien left behind.
Daniel Hudson, Relief pitcher, Washington Nationals
The A’s need a lot of bullpen help, and acquiring a veteran like Hudson is very much is in line with Oakland's track record.
In 24 1/3 innings pitched this season, Hudson has a 2.59 ERA. There's one issue: He’s currently on the Washington Nationals’ Injured List dealing with elbow inflammation, and manager Dave Martinez said they wanted to err on the side of caution with his history of Tommy John surgery.
Hudson, when healthy, remains one of the better relievers on Washington's staff.
Joey Gallo, Outfielder -- Texas Rangers
If anything, acquiring Gallo from the Texas Rangers would give the A’s a break from facing him.
In the recent series between the two teams, Gallo hit four home runs across the three-game series and Thursday’s game was his fifth straight with a homer.
When he’s on a hot streak, Gallo is untouchable.
The Rangers and A’s aren't strangers to doing business over the years and completed Andrus-Khris Davis trade last winter, so it's not out of the question for the two sides to work something out.
After what the A’s saw from Gallo this week, having him in green and gold would make the push toward the playoffs easier.
Nelson Cruz, Designated hitter -- Minnesota Twins
For now, the A’s aren’t struggling with what Mitch Moreland is doing at the plate, but it comes in spurts.
This season in 69 games and 241 plate appearances, Cruz is slashing .307/.378/.585 and having spent the entirety of his career in the AL, he’s more than familiar with the A’s and their opponents.
Adding Cruz could allow the A's to platoon him and Moreland at designated hitter, depending on the pitcher they are facing on any given day.
Mitch Haniger, Outfielder -- Seattle Mariners
This is more of a Christmas wish, but it’s possible and is part of what the A’s would have on their list.
The buzz around whether Haniger will be moved before the deadline isn't high right now, but it could have a lot to do with how the Seattle Mariners continue to play. They’re creeping up on the A’s in the AL West standings and might look at buy rather than sell. General manager Jerry Dipoto has a tendency to make some interesting moves, so don't be surprised if Haniger is moved.
Having someone of Haniger’s productivity in the lineup is always a positive, and now that he’s healthy, he’s more dependable.
Haniger has a .258 average with 18 home runs and 47 RBI in 76 games this season.
Richard Rodríguez, Reliever -- Pittsburgh Pirates
The relationship between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the A’s has become stronger with some recent transactions. With how great of a season Rodríguez is having and the A’s need for solid bullpen assistance, this could be another match for the two teams.
Rodriguez has a 1.78 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings with just three walks, and has limited opposing batters to a .168 average.
With those numbers, Rodriguez is a hot commodity and will be pursued by just about every contending team, so the A's will have competition if they want to add him to their bullpen.