COMMENTARY | The Oakland Athletics should be making a move to bolster the starting rotation, as in right this second.
Despite having the best team ERA in the American League, Oakland could use a shot in the proverbial arm with a quality pitcher to join the ranks of Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Parker and Brett Anderson, once he returns. The team must brace for the possibility that Colon could be suspended in the Biogenesis investigation and/or Anderson getting hurt within five minutes of stepping back on the field.
General manager Billy Beane should be on the phone with Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn, trying to hammer out a deal for Jake Peavy. By all accounts, Beane has been positioning the A's as the frontrunner to land the 32-year-old, who currently has an 8-4 record with 76 strikeouts in 80 innings and a 1.14 WHIP.
But Chicago has been demanding too steep a price.
Hahn has been doing his job and has demanded top prospects for Peavy, but everyone knows that's nothing more than a pipe dream. Ultimately, Hahn is going to come down on his price and look for a realistic deal.
This is where Beane makes his money. He knows Hahn has every reason to trade Peavy, who has an injury history and $14.5 million on the books for 2014. The White Sox aren't going anywhere next season, making it idiotic to pay a veteran pitcher all that scratch.
What does make sense is stockpiling assets for the future by dealing Peavy for a handful of young, cheap prospects. Chicago can literally use help anywhere, but it will likely be looking for pitching and an outfielder among other things.
The only two prospects who should be untouchable from Beane's view are shortstop Addison Russell and starting pitcher Sonny Gray, perhaps along with outfielder Michael Choice. Outside of that, let the games begin.
Beane could very well construct a trade by dangling 2B/OF Grant Green or pitcher Michael Ynoa. Add in Tommy Milone or A.J. Griffin, and this is a move worth making for both sides. Both Griffin and Milone are capable major league hurlers and come at little cost, something attractive to a rebuilding team.
A team in Oakland's position normally doesn't want to pay a salary such as Peavy's, especially when there is a greater risk of injury. However, this team is ready to challenge for a World Series and can't let the opportunity fade. Could the A's win as currently constructed? Sure, but why not upgrade?
The Texas Rangers added Matt Garza and might be taking Alex Rios off Chicago's hands shortly. The Detroit Tigers fortified their bullpen with Jose Veras, and the Tampa Bay Rays pulled off a potential steal by acquiring Jesse Crain.
For Beane and his AL West leaders, the time is now to make a move.
Matt Verderame is a lifelong Oakland A's follower and has been published in the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin and also at SB Nation among other papers and websites. His Twitter handle is @MattVerderame.
- Sports & Recreation
- Oakland Athletics
- Billy Beane
- Jake Peavy
- Bartolo Colon
- Chicago White Sox