The Oakland Athletics have the worst record in baseball at 14-26, which is not something they, or anyone else really, expected. However, if the struggles continue, they may wind up as sellers at the trade deadline, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Before the A's make that decision, general manager Billy Beane wants to evaluate his team with veterans Ben Zobrist and Sean Doolittle, both of whom are close to returning from injury, in the mix.
If Oakland continues to struggle, Rosenthal reports that Zobrist, starting pitcher Scott Kazmir and reliever Tyler Clippard are among the A's players most likely to be moved at the trade deadline, as all three are on expiring contracts.
Zobrist may be of particular interest to contenders if he comes back healthy, given his versatility. Zobrist could help contenders in need of either a middle infielder or corner outfielder. He struggled a bit to start the season, hitting .240/.304/.400 with a home run in 40 games before injuring his left knee on April 24. He hit .272/.354/.394 in 146 games with the Rays last year while starting at six different positions including DH.
As a left-handed starting pitcher, Kazmir can be valuable to any number of teams. He has posted a 3.08 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 49⅔ innings this season, walking 19 and striking out 49. Once a top prospect, Kazmir has resurrected his career in Oakland, with a 3.45 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 240 innings since joining the A's in 2014. He could be a target for the Cardinals or Dodgers who are without Adam Wainwright and Hyun-Jin Ryu, respectively, because of injuries.
Clippard has served as the Athletics' closer in Doolittle's absence, but with the team's struggles has recorded just four saves. He has appeared in 16 games this season, posting a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings. This is Clippard's first season in Oakland after spending the previous seven with the Nationals with a 2.68 ERA in 464 innings in Washington.
One A's player that is seemingly not a trade candidate, according to Rosenthal, is outfielder Josh Reddick. The 28-year-old is hitting .317/.396/.545 with six home runs this season while making just $4.1 million. He will enter his final year of arbitration in 2016.