MLB Trade Deadline: AL West roundup with Rangers, Angels, Astros wishlist, A’s and Mariners for sale

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Jul 28, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Tony Kemp (5) loses his helmet as he runs to second on a double in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Selling the AL West: Oakland A’s.

The Oakland Athletics (30-76) find themselves in a challenging position in last place in the AL West as well as the entire MLB. With a disappointing record and a lackluster performance this season, the A’s have several players that could be valuable assets for other teams.

One player who has caught the attention of potential suitors is Tony Kemp. Despite his overall numbers not reflecting his true value, Kemp has put together an impressive second half for the second consecutive season. Since the start of July, Kemp has been on a tear, hitting .296/.351/.408 with six stolen bases. This surge in performance has showcased his ability to contribute offensively and his positional versatility.

Kemp’s impending free agency at the end of the season adds an exciting dynamic to his trade potential. Contending teams needing a versatile player who can provide a spark off the bench may see Kemp as an attractive option. While his overall numbers may not be eye-popping, his recent performance suggests he could be a valuable addition to a playoff-bound team.

Reliable relief pitching is always in high demand, and the Athletics have a potential trade chip in Trevor May. Since the start of July, May has shown signs of improvement, posting a 1.29 ERA and five saves. While his numbers may not be elite, his recent form could make him an intriguing target for teams looking to bolster their bullpen.

May’s track record as a reliable reliever adds to his trade value. Teams needing bullpen depth and experience may view May as a valuable asset down the stretch. While the return for May may not be significant, the Athletics could still receive a prospect or two in exchange for his services.

One player who could fetch a decent return for the Athletics is Paul Blackburn. While Blackburn may not be part of the team’s long-term plans, his affordable contract and team control make him an appealing option for contending teams. With a $1.9 million option and the potential for team control, Blackburn’s trade value lies in his affordability and versatility as a pitcher.

Although Blackburn’s trade may not significantly boost the Athletics’ farm system rankings, he could still bring back a fringe top-10 prospect in some systems. Alternatively, the A’s may receive a top 20-25 prospect and another flier prospect. While the return may not be earth-shattering, the Athletics could capitalize on a weak market and acquire valuable assets for the future.

Brent Rooker’s story has been one of highs and lows this season. The A’s lone All-Star, Rooker, started the season on a tear, hitting nine home runs in March and April while cutting down on strikeouts. However, his performance has declined since then, with his batting average dropping below .200 and his power numbers dwindling.

Despite his recent struggles, Rooker’s early-season success and potential as a power hitter could still attract interest from other teams. The Athletics may be able to secure a top 20 prospect from a system for Rooker, making it a best-case scenario trade. While his current performance may not be impressive, Rooker’s past success and power potential make him a valuable trade asset.

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