As the 2011 MLB trade deadline approaches, the Oakland Athletics appear content to potentially let it pass without much action if Billy Beane and company do not get the types of offers they might otherwise expect. Beane indicated they are taking calls on a variety of players but no deal has jumped out as a must-do:
"We've accepted calls on players, but we made it clear we're not going to give these guys away," Beane said. "We don't have any monetary issues, and we're not looking to dump payroll. If we did anything, it would have to help us significantly moving forward, not some team's prospect No. 37.
"In respect for Bob Melvin, we're not going to strip-mine things for two months for players of no consequence."
Although the A's are struggling below the .500 mark, they would seem content to let their various free agents walk and pick up draft pick compensation instead. As it currently stands, Josh Willingham projects as a potential Type A free agent and David DeJesus as a Type B free agent. If the trade market is not developing this week, it really would make the most sense to roll the dice on the kinds of players one could find with compensatory picks.
Of the bats, Josh Willingham would still seem to be the most likely traded by Sunday, but also the most likely for the A's to potentially try and extend as a building block. He's not a super star slugger, but he's become one of the more consistent offensive weapons for the A's in July. His numbers aren't spectacular, but a July line of .298/.414/.532 is nothing to sneeze at right now. If he keeps it up, maybe the A's roll the dice he can stay healthy.