The Oakland A’s are sellers. There, I said it.
If it wasn’t yet obvious, it will be in the coming week-and-a-half. It’s time to rebuild, and luckily the A’s have quite a few potential players who could interest contending teams.
Josh Willingham, Craig Breslow, David DeJesus and Coco Crisp could all be gone by months end.
What interests me is who will come in their place?
The A’s farm system is currently ranked in the bottom half of the league, and a major league fire sale could lead to a minor league rejuvenation. The A’s aren’t very deep at any position in the minors and should look to build depth through transactions.
Let’s take look at the A’s farm system by greatest need.
I’m going to say it. I don’t think Chris Carter is going to pan out. He’s yet to find his stroke this year in AAA and the majors.
The A’s don’t have a true third baseman anywhere in the minors other than Steve Parker, who is having a solid but not magnificent season at Midland. Daric Barton and Kevin Kouzmanoff are not prospects, and it doesn’t seem likely they will regain their former positions.
In the lower minors, the A’s are developing AJ Kirby-Jones and Chad Lewis, but they are many years away from the majors. The A’s don’t have a potential third baseman until at least 2013, and if Carter is a bust, they don’t have any prominent first basement in their entire system.
A power hitter corner infielder is of the highest importance in potential trade negotiations.
With the recent promotion of Jemile Weeks and position change of Grant Green, the A’s are without their future middle infielders.
Granted, Weeks is a rookie and appears to be the second baseman of the foreseeable future. But the A’s, given their injury history, always need to have a backup plan.
Other than older prospect Eric Sogard and a potential position change to the vagrant Adrian Cardenas the A’s system is limited to Yordy Cabrera and Tyler Ladendorf. Cabrera and Ladendorf are both having underwhelming seasons at Burlington and Midland respectively.
Could Use an Infusion of Talent
The A’s have always been known as a team great at developing pitching. However, right now the talent is mostly at the AAA level.
Below Sacramento, only Ian Krol is of note. Michael Ynoa has the potential to be a Felix Hernandez type pitcher, but injuries have derailed his development. His first opportunity to play in the majors likely won’t come until 2014.
The A’s always find a way to get pitching, so I’m not as worried about boosting this part of their developmental system.
The A’s are pretty well covered for catchers right now.
At AAA, both Josh Donaldson and Anthony Recker are having fine seasons. Recker looks to be a better offensive player, but Donaldson has a bit more experience behind the dish.
At the lower levels Max Stassi projects to be a very good player, but that potential hasn’t yet transferred to actual performance. Also of note is Ryan Ortiz, who recently gained a promotion to Midland.
This is the one position that the A’s have solid depth in all levels.
At AAA, Michael Taylor, Jai Miller and Adrian Cardenas seem to be nearly ready to take the next step.
Jermaine Mitchell is making an impression after a recent promotion to Sacramento. Michael Choice is destroying in Stockton, leading the Cal league in home runs and reaching base in over 40 straight games.
Grant Green shifted to centerfield last week and is performing well at Midland. Other prospects of note include Rashaun Dixon, Aaron Shipman and Pedro Figueroa.
A team should never say no to solid outfielders, but the A’s possess a good deal of depth at that position.
The A’s need corner infielders, middle infielders and pitchers. Any trade discussion should include potentially impact first basemen, a shortstop of the future and a few pitchers at the lower levels.
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