The narrative that teams have to decide if they're buyers or sellers before the deadline is largely true, but what happens when a team that was losing for two months suddenly runs into a hot streak? This is the situation currently facing the Oakland Athletics and Cincinnati Reds. After getting off to a slow start in their respective divisions, each team has come on strong and may no longer be in sell mode, as Ken Rosenthal reports.
Meanwhile, improved play of #Reds, #Athletics also is tightening trade market. One GM says, "No one is available, really."— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 26, 2015
Both teams have a lot of players with which they could extract value from, but the goal of making the playoffs is still within reach after their recent play. Guys like Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir, Johnny Cueto, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce could all bring back better than average prospect packages, but both teams may be gearing up to add pieces, not sell them off.
Team Through May Through June L10
While Oakland is still nine games out of first place in their division, and trailing the second Wild Card team by six games, weirder things have happened before, and with 87 games left to play, Billy Beane still likes his team's chance at taking a run at the playoffs. The Reds on the other hand are just three games under .500, and sit five games back of a Wild Card berth. The division is almost surely out of reach with the way the Cardinals are playing, but with a couple more win streaks, they could find themselves jostling with the Pirates, Cubs, and Giants for one of the last two spots.
While trading their assets could represent a better long term plan, neither team is going to give up on the season just yet. There are more than 20 games left before a firm decision has to be made, and even after that, there may not be a clear cut way to approach the deadline.
So, MLBDD readers, what's your take? Should the A's and Reds gear up for a stretch run and be ready to duke it out for the rest of 2015, or take as much value as they can for their impending free agents and start building for 2016?