This is always an extended week for fantasy baseball because it includes the previous weekend and all of this week because of the Major League Baseball All-Star break. It is also a great time to pick up players who are on bad teams because there is a great chance they will be traded to a contender.
One team that often trades players at the deadline are the Oakland Athletics. This is obviously the busiest time of year for Athletics Executive Vice-President of Baseball Operations and Moneyball founder Billy Beane, who loves to acquire underrated prospects from other organizations for some of Oakland’s top players at the trade deadline every year when Oakland is not in contention in the American League West.
It is fair to say that the Athletics are not going to make the playoffs this year. At 42 wins and 50 losses, they are 20 games back of the Houston Astros in the division and six games back of the New York Yankees in the second wildcard.
Two players who could be available on the waiver wire are Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray and first baseman Yonder Alonso. Gray has decent numbers as a whole this season as a starter (5-4, 79 strikeouts, 3.72 ERA), but has been dominant in his last four starts as he has only given up four earned runs in 27 innings pitched. Now Gray does have the luxury of pitching in a pitcher’s friendly baseball park in Oakland, but could fit into a team’s starting rotation quite nicely. Teams in contention who could use another arm include the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers.
As for Alonso meanwhile, he could see his fantasy value skyrocket if he got traded to a contender. Don’t forget, he has played the last six seasons in a pitching friendly baseball park (four with San Diego and two with Oakland). If he went to a team like the Cleveland Indians, who could you use one more offensive bat after they have lost four games, there is no doubt he could see a large increase in hits, home runs, runs and runs batted in. Currently he is batting .269 with 21 home runs, 44 runs batted in, 48 runs and 72 hits.