THURSDAY: Talks between the clubs appear to be “heating up” today, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
TUESDAY: Blanks has been optioned to Triple-A to create roster space for Carlos Quentin, manager Bud Black told Marty Caswell of 1090 Sports Radio (Twitter link; h/t to MLB.com’s Corey Brock). That, rather than a completed trade, explains his absence from the lineup card today. Of course, Blanks can still be dealt just the same whether or not he is on the active roster.
MONDAY: First baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks could be on the move soon, and the A’s are one possibility for the team that could acquire him, reports Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (Twitter links). Oakland has in fact shown interest in acquiring Blanks, reports Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com.
One name that Cotillo hears could be in play is Jake Goebbert — a 26-year-old outfielder who is batting .257/.371/.505 in 132 plate appearances with Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento. Goebbert did not place on Baseball America’s list of Top 30 A’s prospects nor on MLB.com’s Top 20 list for Oakland.
The Friars only recently promoted Blanks, 27, from Triple-A El Paso this season, where he had been hitting the ball with authority, pounding nine homers in 99 plate appearances. Blanks was once regarded as the game’s No. 50 prospect by Baseball America and No. 54 by ESPN’s Keith Law, but that was back in 2009. Since a highly impressive debut that same season in which he batted a healthy .250/.355/.514 with 10 homers in 172 PA, Blanks has slashed just .222/.298/.372 in the Majors.
As Stiglich notes, the A’s could be interested in platooning Blanks at first and/or deploying him as an outfield bench bat. Alternatively, the club may have designs on stashing him at Triple-A for depth.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.