Oakland A's trade deadline: Breaking down potential fits, needs, best targets

The Oakland Athletics are a funny team to discuss regarding the upcoming trade deadline. For most of the season even up to around two weeks ago, there was a general feeling that the A's would be sellers, dealing players like Blake Treinen, Jed Lowrie and possibly Khris Davis

Instead, the A's caught fire and it's now reasonable to believe they have a shot at one of the AL wild-card spots. There are even reports out there that the A's are talking contract extensions for Lowrie and Davis

Needs

One area that sticks out as a place the A's could stand to add is with a so-called rental starting pitcher (those whose contracts expire after this season). This is because they've been ravaged by injuries to young starters who will be back next season. Though they've been throwing well, it's hard to count on the likes of Edwin Jackson and Trevor Cahill to carry them to the playoffs, after all. 

Further, the A's might want a better catcher than Jonathan Lucroy and might be able to use a left fielder. 

The odds of the A's making a huge splash aren't nearly as big as them adding at the margins. Let's take a look. 

Starting pitcher targets

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Bartolo Colon TEX • SP • 40
ERA4.64
WHIP1.21
IP106.2
BB17
K62

Colon was an All-Star in 2013 with the A's, so a reunion is possible. He's pitching around league average in ERA this season and moving from a hitter-friendly yard to Oakland would benefit him. I'm not bullish on him being too good down the stretch, but he could work. 

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Kyle Gibson MIN • SP • 44
ERA3.42
WHIP1.23
IP115.2
BB46
K114

He's an option that makes a lot of sense, given that he's having the best year in his career and is a free agent after the season. Keep your eyes on this match. 

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Cole Hamels CHC • SP • 35
ERA4.36
WHIP1.34
IP109.1
BB40
K109

Hamels isn't the ace he used to be, but he'd be a nice upgrade for the A's in their rotation. He's making $23.5 million this season, so what's left on that would likely be a dealbreaker for the A's unless the Rangers eat almost all that remains, likely. The hunch is a larger-market club nabs him. 

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James Shields CHW • SP • 33
ERA4.43
WHIP1.27
IP126.0
BB49
K92

Shields is making $21 million this season, but the Padres are on the hook for $11 million of it. If the White Sox would take on some of what remains, a deal would probably work. Shields is better than Colon and eats more innings. Eight of his last 11 starts have been quality starts, too. 

Left field targets

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Curtis Granderson MIA • LF • 21
BA.234
R32
HR9
RBI28
SB1

Grandy isn't the star he once was, but he still provides professional at-bats, particularly against righties. He's above average at getting on base and still has decent-to-good power. He's as good as they come in the clubhouse, too. He's a real nice fit here.

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Derek Dietrich CIN • LF • 22
BA.288
R49
HR11
RBI32
SB1

Lots of teams have been connected to the 28-year-old Dietrich and rightfully so, as the Marlins are in the midst of a massive rebuild. He can handle at least three positions and is a quality bat. 

Catcher targets

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Robinson Chirinos HOU • C • 28
BA.209
R27
HR11
RBI37
SB1

The Rangers' backstop is having a pretty terrible year at the plate, but he was great last season (121 OPS+). He might be a viable option to tandem with Lucroy. 

The two big-name catchers out there are All-Stars Wilson Ramos and J.T. Realmuto, but the A's are likely to be outbid on both. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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