The Oakland A’s seem as though they can do no wrong this season. They currently have the best record in baseball and are six games up in the American League West. They lead the MLB with the most runs and the lowest ERA with 377 and 3.02 respectively. However, the Athletics do have one weakness and that is second base.
Even though the A’s have three players in their dugout that can man second base, none of them have been producing. The “Face of MLB” runner up Eric Sogard is only batting .199 this season with zero home runs and only nine RBI. Alberto Callaspo – who was very hot at the beginning of the season – has only 12 hits in 49 at-bats for June. Nick Punto has probably been the most successful second baseman for the Athletics however he can be an inconsistent hitter.
If the Oakland A’s want to be strong throughout the second half of the season and into the postseason, they are going to need to fortify second base. What are the possible moves that Athletics could make before the trade deadline in July?
It is rumored that Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman Chase Utley is on the trading block. This veteran second baseman would provide the Oakland A’s with solid defense in the infield and a productive bat in the lineup. Additionally, his playoff experience could help lead the Oakland A’s to the World Series. There is some question about whether or not Utley will be able to stay healthy for the rest of the season since he has had issues with his knees in the past.
There has also been a rumor that the Tampa Bay Rays are looking to trade second baseman Ben Zobrist. Zobrist would fit nicely with the Athletics. He is a switch hitter that has untapped potential. Even though his numbers are not too impressive, he has been heating up recently and demonstrating that he can produce on a consistent basis. Additionally, like many other Athletics, he is a versatile infielder that can play multiple positions.
The problem is the Athletics do not like to spend a lot of money and they do not have a valuable players that they would be willing to trade thus making it harder for the Oakland A’s to acquire either Utley or Zobrist. The other problem is that there are not that many other options out there for the Athletics. These two players may be the only major league second basemen available. But knowing the Athletics, they will maneuver their way into a trade someway or another if they truly want to strengthen second base.