As the Oakland Athletics approach the 2011 MLB trade deadline, their current AL West deficit would indicate they are going to be sellers come July 31. They have a host of veterans they can move for some minor league prospects in hopes of rebuilding to a more competitive level. The first rumor though surrounds a youthful member of the team.
Ken Rosenthal shot out a tweet Friday afternoon in which he indicated teams around MLB have been calling the A's to inquire about closer Andrew Bailey. Naturally the A's current position is that they would need to be overwhelmed by an offer for their young closer. After missing the first two months of the season with a forearm injury, Bailey has been rock solid as the team's closer with eight saves and a 2.40 ERA. He blew a save before the All Star break but otherwise has continued his strong work as the team's closer.
When a team is in last place and 14 games under .500 it's hard to say anybody is "untouchable" on your roster. However, given the A's financial constraints, Bailey is a guy that would require a Herschel Walker type of offer that the A's simply cannot say no to. He is making close to the league minimum this season and will be arbitration eligible from 2012-2014. His salary will be rising in the coming seasons, but for now he is a guy the A's can build around. It will be interesting though to see what kind of offers leak out to the media over the next couple weeks.