By John Hickey
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 at 11:48 am in 2013 regular season.
It’s been clear for a while, but today’s move to bring back Adam Rosales shouts the message that there is no room in Oakland for Jemile Weeks.
The winter before last, Weeks was the one untouchable player on the A’s roster after a .303 rookie season at second base. But he languished through a .221 sophomore slump in 2012 and this year he isn’t ever being talked about as being in the mix by the A’s front office.
For the month of July, Weeks is hitting .357 and that’s brought his overall average up to .282, so he appears to have recaptured the offense he lost last season.
Weeks appears to see the writing on the wall. He’s split time between second base and shortstop in the infield and has voluntarily made the move to the outfield, where he’s made 11 appearances for Triple-A Sacramento. Being more versatile will only add to his appeal.
But at this point, his appeal in Oakland is minimal. It seems likely he’ll be traded sooner or later, because the A’s have fallen out of love with him.
Rosales brings some defensive skills with him, but he was a .200 hitter with four homers in 48 games with the A’s before being taken off the roster and shipped to Sacramento, where he hit .240 in six games.
If the A’s are going to chase offensive improvement with the trading deadline just a week away, it’s almost certainly going to be at second base or shortstop.
The Phillies are fading a bit in the NL East (second place, but seven games behind Atlanta), and they seem willing to at least consider letting Chase Utley go, although it’s not clear how much they’d want in return or indeed if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline.
Utley, hitting .286 with 13 homers, is 34 years old and will be a free agent next year, and could be just the thing for the A’s if they could pry him loose.
On the other end of the spectrum, if the A’s want to just bring in a solid defensive player at shortstop and move Jed Lowrie to full-time duty at second base, they could probably get Seattle’s Brendan Ryan for very little now that Ryan has become a backup in the Pacific Northwest.
The A’s have one more option at Triple-A in Hiro Nakajima, but his situation isn’t all that much better than Weeks’. Nakajima is riding a 14-game hitting streak (20-for-56, .357) through Tuesday, the longest such streak for a Sacramento player this season.
But while he’s brought his average up 19 points to .286 since July 4, he didn’t seem to be in the conversation either when the decision to bring Rosales up was made