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Taking Advantage of the Sellers: Oakland Athletics

New York Yankees v Oakland Athletics Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Sigh. I knew this team was likely to be up for this series in relatively short order, but it’s still no fun taking a look at the potential trade candidates for your own favorite team. But with the Athletics currently sitting at the bottom of the AL West, 12.5 games back in the division and 7.5 back in the race for a wild card spot, the time to start looking at who could have trade value has arrived.

Let’s start by eliminating players that the Athletics are either not trading, or other teams are simply not going to take. Billy Butler is under contract through the 2017 season, and with an empty .253 batting average, is a more likely candidate to be released than traded. Coco Crisp is hitting just .222, can no longer play center field defensively, and is on pace to have his $13M option for 2017 vest. You also have a number of rookies and low-service time players such as Sean Manaea, Marcus Semien, and Billy Burns. Rich Hill will likely receive a lot of interest, but until he returns from the disabled list, I can't see the A’s trading him. With all that said, it’s the A’s, and any player could potentially be a trade candidate.

Sonny Gray, RHSP

Gray’s name is always the top candidate, and when you have a younger starting pitcher who still has three years of team control remaining, there's good reason for it. However, Gray has not been pitching well this year and has missed some time due to injuries, so his value is lower than it may be in the upcoming offseason.

The bigger issue is that there’s not really a lot of pitching prospects left in the high minors that could have a significant fantasy impact this year. The team recently brought up Daniel Mengden, and the starters remaining in AAA Nashville are two who have shuttled back and forth all year (Jesse Hahn, Erik Surkamp) and an interesting prospect in Dillon Overton.

Danny Valencia, 3B

Valencia’s name comes up more because of what is available in the minors to replace him rather than a specific set of rumors of trade. The A's have two prospects in the high minors who could fill in at third base in Renato Nunez (AAA) and Matt Chapman (AA), both of whom could reasonably be ready for the majors by the end of the season. The hard part with Valencia is determining how much the rest of the league believes in his power spike, given that he was a waiver claim less than a year ago, and just how much he would return in trade.

Josh Reddick, OF

Reddick is a free agent after this season, and so naturally was viewed as a potential trade candidate before he hit the disabled list with a fractured thumb. Reddick has expressed an interest in signing an extension, so it's definitely possible that the A’s hold onto him and get that done. If they opt to trade him, there’s a couple of names who could be interesting for AL-only and deeper formats in the newly acquired Arismendy Alcantara or outfield prospect Jaycob Brugman.