Marcus Semien was a revelation for the A’s in 2019. The San Francisco native finished third in AL MVP voting and was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop.
However, after back-to-back seasons ending in an AL Wild Card Game loss, Oakland knows it needs more to reach the next level.
Jorge Mateo, the A’s No. 4 prospect, is a promising shortstop with an 80-speed grade and a strong arm. However, the 24-year-old is out of minor league options and isn’t anywhere close to cracking the A’s starting lineup with Semien looking like a potential cornerstone if Oakland chooses to re-sign him.
That and Mateo’s legs make him an intriguing trade chip, according to MLB.com, as a team needing some top-of-the-line speed and fielding on the bench might be captivated enough to make a move for him. Oakland did that in 2017, when it acquired Mateo from the Yankees in 2017 as part of the Sonny Gray trade.
The A’s have a strong lineup coming back, but they will need to shore up their pitching staff, especially the bullpen, after a season in which they blew 31 saves, tied for the most in MLB.
Mateo had 62 extra-base hits and stole 24 bases a season ago, and he could be part of a package for a significant upgrade to the major league roster.