Could A's begin selling early?

Mar 31, 2024; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics infielder J.D. Davis (5) runs to the
Mar 31, 2024; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics infielder J.D. Davis (5) runs to the / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
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There isn't a lot expected of the Oakland A's this season, especially after a 1-4 start and a -27 run differential. The goal just a few days ago was to finish the season with a .500 record and really sneak up on some people. The current goal is to shore up the team defense which has racked up 13 errors in just five games.

With the A's planned relocation to Las Vegas, the focus has been, and continues to be, on the future. Ownership doesn't necessarily care how well or how poorly the team performs this year--they're focued on 2028 and beyond when the proposed ballpark is expected to be ready. They also know that they highest they could draft in 2025 is the tenth overall selection due to finishing in the lottery two straight seasons.

With another long season seemingly in store for the club and a sole focus on the future, we could see this A's team, which has a number of veterans that are expected to be moved this summer on the roster, start to trade away players as soon as they hear an acceptable offer.

Coming into this season, the projections had a hard time separating a number of teams around the league. FanGraphs has 17 teams currently projected for between 80-85 wins, with 84 victories seeming to be the magic number to reach the playoffs. Seven of those teams are projected for between 80 and 81 wins. Making a move earlier in the season for some of these clubs could be the difference between making the postseason and missing out entirely.

This winter the A's added veteran starters Ross Stripling and Alex Wood, both of whom figure to be trade bait if they perform, along with third baseman J.D. Davis. They also have starter Paul Blackburn, and basically any reliever in their bullpen, perhaps aside from Mason Miller. They could even take a long look at first baseman Ryan Noda's value with the club long-term and deem him tradable. Moving him would clear a spot for Tyler Soderstrom on the roster at first. The same goes for Brent Rooker, who was named an All Star and clubbed 30 home runs last season. Moving Rook would open up the DH spot in the lineup.

The A's have some pieces to move this season, and if any of them gets hot for a stretch, then it feels likely that they'll be moved at some point in time. With so many teams figured to be in the middle of the pack, the A's won't be limited to what one or two teams need at the Trade Deadline. They could be fielding offers from six, eight, or even ten teams for the right player.

Oakland's farm system hasn't graded well since the trades of Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, and Frankie Montas, along with last year's high draft pick, Jacob Wilson. This round of seemingly inevitable trades could move the A's up the board just a little bit and set them up for a future not many current fans will see.

Jason Burke