As Ken Rosenthal wrote last week, Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics currently own one of the worst records in the American League but are still not ready to give up on competing this season. They are still open to dealing for Ben Zobrist, who has been the subject of Mets-A’s rumors for months, but are not looking for prospects in return.
Rosenthal cited recent trade talks with the Nationals, in which Oakland wanted outfielder Michael Taylor, a top power-hitting, speedy prospect who has played 55 games with the Nationals this season. So if you thought the Mets could get away with giving up Brandon Nimmo or another not-quite-ready prospect, think again. The A’s want someone who can help over the next few months, not the next few years.
Although the Mets may be able to trade Daniel Murphy or Dilson Herrera as players who can contribute now, this makes them less of a match for a deal with Oakland. The Mets have a plethora of tradable prospects, but dealing someone like Murphy would hurt their already-reeling offense. Ideally, the Mets would deal from their strength, pitching, to get better.
That being said, a lot can change between now and the July 31 trade deadline. If the A’s fall further out of contention, Beane’s strategy could shift and make a deal between him and Sandy Alderson more of a possibility.