A’s must look elsewhere with Hanley Ramirez off the board

So much for the A’s efforts at landing Hanley Ramirez, after the Dodgers swung a four-player trade to acquire the infielder from the Miami Marlins. It’s not surprising to see Ramirez go to a deep-pocketed team. Los Angeles is reportedly taking on all of the $38 million remaining on Ramirez’s contract, certainly something that the A’s would not have done. Where do the A’s look next? I know they have interest in Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar, and as I wrote in last night’s game story, Escobar is much more affordable than Ramirez. He’s making $5 million this season and next, with $5 million club options for 2014 and 2015. It’s my understanding that the Blue Jays are very high on Brett Anderson, and I’m told the clubs have even discussed Anderson at some point this season. I don’t know when that might have occurred, and that has not been confirmed with anyone from the A’s. But it’s something to keep in mind.

Who else might teams be targeting from the A’s? Surely Triple-A right-hander Dan Straily, who has a 0.96 ERA in seven starts with Sacramento. For the season, Straily has an eye-popping 171 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. The A’s have to decide whether they are willing to part with this guy as a potential centerpiece in a deal.

With the A’s rolling along and climbing up the standings, there’s always the option that they do nothing before Tuesday’s trade deadline and see just how good of a push their current group can make. But I expect them to definitely pursue the left-side infield trade options now that Ramirez is off the market. They appear to be eyeing shortstop more than third base for an upgrade.

Would you rather see the A’s make at least one trade or stand pat?

Joe Stiglich