With the recent departure of Josh Donaldson, the Oakland A's could be looking to add offense by acquiring Justin Upton and Evan Gattis from the Atlanta Braves, according to A's beat writer John Hickey. It remains to be seen whether or not Oakland would be willing to part with enough prospects to land both Upton and Gattis in the same deal, or whether they would prefer a deal involving just one of the two.
After trading Jason Heyward two weeks ago, it appears the Braves will be in seller-mode this offseason. With Upton entering his final year of his current contract, it makes sense for the Braves to listen on offers. Meanwhile, Gattis has four years of team control remaining, so he could be very appealing to many teams. Even if Oakland views Gattis as a DH candidate, each player would provide plenty of value to Oakland.
Upton wrapped up the 2014 season with a slash line of .270/.342/.491, with 29 home runs and 102 RBI. Even at a price tag of $14.7 million in 2015, Oakland would welcome his addition. One option could involve plugging Upton into left field, with Brandon Moss taking over at first base. Oakland acquired Ike Davis from the Pirates last week, but Davis most likely profiles as a platoon candidate with Oakland's current roster construction.
Gattis, currently entering his third season with the Braves, represents one of the top power bats on the trade market. Over the last two seasons, Gattis has hit 43 home runs in just 783 plate appearances. Along with 127 starts behind the plate, Gattis has also appeared in 48 games in left field for the Braves. Although the versatility is intriguing, his defensive marks suggest he's a below average defender at both spots. Oakland could view Gattis as a DH candidate, with recently-acquired Billy Butler taking over at first base.
Hickey notes that Jeff Samardzija could be the trade bait, but that seems unlikely if Atlanta is in a rebuilding mode. Although Atlanta would love to have the Notre Dame alum, Samardzija hitting free agency after the 2015 season would not be a good fit for a team building towards the future.