Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane is elite at maximizing players’ values, opines the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, who writes that Beane is in prime position to shine as this year’s trade deadline approaches. The last-place A’s, who are likely to sell, have appealing trade chips like outfielder Josh Reddick, starter Rich Hill and relievers Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle and John Axford. None will be as intriguing as 26-year-old right-hander Sonny Gray if the A’s put him on the block, though. The A’s are unsure about whether to make Gray available, per Cafardo, who reports that double-digit scouts from contenders take in each of his starts.
More rumblings from Cafardo:
- The Giants are aggressively shopping for relief help and a middle-of-the-order hitter to fill the void left by the injured Hunter Pence. Bullpen possibilities include Twins righty Kevin Jepsen and southpaw Fernando Abad, both of whom the Giants have recently scouted. As far as the outfield goes, any of Ryan Braun – whom the Giants have discussed with Milwaukee – struggling Padre Matt Kemp or free agent Carl Crawford could end up in San Francisco. Kemp has recovered at the plate from a nightmarish May this month, but he remains a defensive liability who’s owed $21.5MM annually through 2019.
- Jepsen and Abad aren’t the only Twins who might change uniforms this summer. Third baseman Trevor Plouffe and infielder Eduardo Nunez could also pique contenders’ interest. Nunez is surprisingly excelling this year, hitting .318/.348/.485 with nine home runs and 16 steals – the fifth-highest total in the majors – through 249 plate appearances. He’s on a mere $1.48MM salary this season and is scheduled to make one more trip through arbitration.
- The Red Sox, Royals and Blue Jays are potential landing spots for Padres center fielder Jon Jay, who’s batting a solid .299/.345/.410 through his first 287 PAs of a contract year. Jay, 31, is earning $6.23MM this season.
- With Colorado having designated him for assignment Wednesday, 33-year-old shortstop Jose Reyes will soon be looking for a new home, and the scuffling White Sox are a team to watch. Chicago already released one veteran shortstop, Jimmy Rollins, earlier this week. His replacement, 22-year-old prospect Tim Anderson, has gone 9 of 34 with four extra-base hits, nine strikeouts and no walks.