Oakland Athletics – Likely Suitor
It’s no secret, the Athletics are a good team. Their stacked lineup featuring Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson complements their small, yet effective group of starters. The bullpen has been excellent and objectively, no club has played better baseball over the last month.
The question is though – do the Athletics have enough pitching to carry them into the postseason and beyond? Outside of proven major league starter Sean Manaea, Oakland has gotten luckily dominant performances from veterans Edwin Jackson and Trevor Cahill, which are likely not going to last forever. Former Blue Jay Brett Anderson has resurged as well with some solid innings as a starter.
With that said, Marco Estrada, one of the most consistent starters in the league over the past few seasons, should slot in perfectly. Moreover, the Athletics were shopping for starters at the deadline, according to Richard Justice of MLB.com, so it’s not outlandish to suggest that a team that was at one point shopping for a starter could continue to look for one in August. In order to compete with the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, and others, the surprising Athletics will need a wealth of live arms that are ready to eat innings when they’re behind, and protect leads when they’re ahead.
With a modest payroll of $74 million, Bob Melvin’s club could conceivably take on the rest of the money Estrada is owed. No fit is perfect, but this one is as close as can be. Oakland, now sitting in sole possession of the second wild-card spot, would be smart to reinforce their arsenal of arms before the calendar flips to September.