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A’s and Peavy Part II

July 30, 2013

More news about Jake Peavy from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle who has a new report with little over a day until the non-waiver trade deadline. She writes,

“There are  25 hours until the non-waiver trade deadline, and the A’s apparently are underwhelmed by potential middle-infield options (Chase Utley is not available). Though they have top-notch starting pitching already, should the A’s acquire Peavy, this would be one of those best-player-available scenarios you always hear about on draft day. They’d clearly not be trading for need, but in order to add onto an existing major strength.”

This all makes sense really, but let’s delve into the pitching thing again. While I thought that any sort of move would telegraph that the A’s had concerns about a possible Bartolo Colon Biogenesis suspension (which inconveniently for the developing trade market seemingly won’t be announced tomorrow), actually looking at the numbers the A’s pitching has been overblown. The A’s starting pitching has been good, but certainly not “top-notch” or “major strength” as Slusser notes. If you choose ERA as your metric of choice – which I don’t advise – they A’s are 11th in baseball. It may be fairer to compare them to just American League adversaries where they are a more impressive fourth. The FIP of 4.11 suggests their ending up a bit lucky and they have a very low .267 BABIP (probably aided by the Coliseum – but still absurdly low as the next lowest is Tampa Bay at .278) so this is hardly “top-notch” but maybe more like “above average”. Obviously depending on who heads back and what the terms are would determine whether or not I applaud a Peavy trade but the calculus going into this deal makes sense.

That said Slusser provides more interesting news some of which we knew: Addison Russell is not being moved at all; some of which I presumed: Sonny Gray is not being moved at all; and some of which seemed obvious: that Michael Choice seems the one most likely to be the centerpiece of any deal. The A’s have some outfield depth going into next year and Choice has hit well in Sacramento: .304/.395/.458 wit 13 dingers and a decent 12.2% walk rate and OK 20.1% K rate to go with a .383 wOBA and 127 wRC+ in 468 plate appearances. He seems a fair candidate to move and I wouldn’t hesitate if it could be the difference between an A’s playoff stall and an A’s playoff run.

As an aside, Utley would be a perfect fit for Oakland’s needs. Oakland’s willingness to include prospects should be an obvious fit for the aging Phillies. If I were a Phillies fan I’d be infuriated with the lack of movement from Ruben Amaro. That team is a mess and is not looking like a contender any time soon and it seems everyone recognizes this but Amaro.

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