The Oakland Athletics have added to the rotation in preparation for a deep postseason run. The A's acquired left-hander Mike Minor from the AL West rival Texas Rangers for two players to be named later hours before Monday's trade deadline, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Minor, 32 and an impending free agent, has pitched to a 5.60 ERA in 35 1/3 innings while dealing with a dead arm phase this season. Last year he threw 208 1/3 innings with a 3.59 ERA and finished eighth in the Cy Young voting. Clearly, the A's are hoping to get the 2019 version of Minor these next few weeks.
Oakland has been without top pitching prospect A.J. Puk all season because of shoulder trouble. Chris Bassitt has done fine work filling in, and Jesus Luzardo has been strong since moving into the rotation, but veterans Mike Fiers, Sean Manaea, and Frankie Montas have all struggled, especially lately.
With Minor aboard, Oakland could slide Bassitt into the bullpen and become a multi-inning weapon, which was the original plan coming into the season. A Fiers or Manaea demotion seems unlikely but is still possible. Six starters for five spots is certainly not a bad thing. The A's have options now.
This is the second trade the Athletics have made with an AL West rival in recent days. Angels. The A's deadline strategy appears to be picking up low-cost rentals they're very familiar with., another impending free agent like Minor, from the
The Rangers have disappointed this season and are poised to trade away more than Minor at the deadline. Lance Lynn, who is signed through next season, and Joey Gallo, who is under team control through 2022, are also on the market. Todd Frazier, Robinson Chirinos, and Rafael Montero are attainable as well.
Only players included in their team's 60-man player pool can be traded this season, though teams can get around that with players to be named later. Texas is all but certain to receive two-minor leaguers not included Oakland's 60-man pool in the trade. Once the season ends and all players are eligible to be traded, those two players will be named.
The Athletics have the third-best record in baseball at 22-12. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 99.9 percent and their AL West title odds at 68.6 percent.