The A’s have not been buyers at the trade deadline often in the last decade.
Now that they are, so, apparently, is everybody else.
All of which is going to make it more difficult for the A’s to get something done at the deadline.
“It’s about how many players are available, simple supply and demand,’’ A’s general manager Billy Beane said. “Right now there are more buyers than there are sellers, more buyers than last year.’’
The A’s want to be one of the buyers when the deadline rolls around Wednesday.
“You’d like to be part of that environment,’’ Beane said.
Although Beane wouldn’t speak in any but the most general of terms, club insiders suggest that second base and starting pitching are the A’s priorities.
And if it seems strange that the A’s would pursue starting pitching, given that the Oakland starters are third in the American League in both wins (43) and ERA (3.83) for the season and are 29-11 with a 3.04 ERA since May 17 heading into Friday, it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems.
For one thing, the A’s, like all teams, love starting pitching. Can’t get enough of it. And even though they have opening day starter Brett Anderson due to come off the disabled list sometime in August, just in time for the stretch run, they can’t be sure of Anderson’s health, given his recent history on injuries.
If they could land a starting pitcher, they would have the option of bringing Anderson back in the bullpen.
“If we could bring in a starter, it would make our bullpen deeper,’’ one club insider said without mentioning Anderson by name.
The A’s have been linked with the pursuit of Chicago White Sox starter Jake Peavy, who is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA this year. He has one more year on his contract at $14.5 million and a player option for $15 million for 2015.
Beane wouldn’t talk about individual players on the market, but he did say that cost and length of contract would not necessarily be an issue.
“When you are looking at having to give up talent in any kind of deadline deal like this, in many instances you’d prefer to have the player you’re getting for as long as possible,’’ he said.
Peavy, who had been out with a fractured rib, has made two starts since healing, going six innings the first time and seven his last time out, so there doesn’t seem to be too much question about his health. Other pitchers who might be of some interest to the A’s include the Padres’ Edinson Volquez, the Astros’ Bud Norris and the Brewers’ Kyle Lohse.