The Oakland Athletics approach the 2011 MLB trade deadline with talent to move, but question marks abound as to how badly they want to move players. Guys like Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham, Rich Harden, and a host of relievers are all available for the right price. The A's, however, don't feel teams are making sufficient offers at this point.
Over at Athletics Nation, Nico put together his best case scenario as the deadline approaches:
This is kind of my "best case scenario" hope right now: To get a decent young pitching prospect from Atlanta for Crisp, to get a desirable young player back from Boston by packaging two players, e.g., Willingham and Harden, and then to still take a shot at re-signing Willingham in the off-season, to a 3-year deal, as a "LF-DH".
The A's and Red Sox have discussed Willingham and Harden, although people are unsure how active those discussions are at this point. Although they're sellers in this trade market, they have to decide how valuable Josh Willingham is between possible prospects in return and draft picks if they let him walk.
The issue is further complicated by the A's own interest in re-signing Willingham. If they re-sign him from wherever he is dealt, they would likely then find themselves giving up a high draft pick due to Willingham's Type A status. If you're the A's, is a prospect worth that in a trade? I suppose it depends on which prospect that is, but it could play into their decision whether or not to deal Willingham.