SUNDAY, 8:11am: There have not been any recent trade talks between the Braves and A’s, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). Meanwhile, a source close to the A’s tells John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter) that Oakland will not be trading Jeff Samardzija to the Braves.
FRIDAY, 11:39pm: After pulling off a blockbuster earlier tonight, the Athletics are perhaps unsurprisingly exploring more deals. The team is in conversations with the Braves regarding outfielder Justin Upton and catcher Evan Gattis, reports John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).
The precise nature, timing, and progress of these talks remains unclear; indeed, it is not even apparent that both players would be under consideration in the same deal. While it is not difficult to imagine that Oakland could make use of those players — particularly if still other moves are being contemplated — neither do they jump out as obvious fits.
The Athletics did sacrifice a good bit of right-handed power in the Jon Lester deal, of course. But the club just added an everyday right-handed bat in Billy Butler. (And with respect to Gattis, if he is viewed as a catching option, Oakland has Derek Norris behind the dish.) More to the point, perhaps, the addition of another bat that requires time in the corner outfield would raise the question of what the team will do with a mix that includes the right-handed-hitting Craig Gentry and lefties Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick.
Hickey notes that starter Jeff Samardzija could be involved in talks involving the aforementioned players. From my perspective, though, it makes little sense for Atlanta to chase after a one-year arm of that kind. Of course, a three-team scenario could be imagined that might make sense of that concept. It should also be remembered that the A’s have a stock of arms beyond their projected Opening Day rotation, with A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker readying to return and carrying plenty of excess value upside.