While the Athletics had a hot streak at the end of June, which consequently caused the trade market to tighten, the team cooled off considerably, and is now nine games under .500 with a record of 41-50. The All-Star break complicates matters for the A's, and could unfortunately be a major reason that they have to sell. They don't play again until Friday, and they'll be taking on the Twins, Blue Jays, and Giants in their next nine games. Oakland would have to sweep all three series' just to get back to .500, and while it's not impossible (the Mets did win 11 in a row just this season), it's highly unlikely.
Out of all 30 GM's in baseball, Billy Beane is seemingly the least afraid to blow a team up (although A.J. Preller could give him a run for his money), and we could start seeing it soon. The A's have a lot of players that would attract interest on the trade market, but perhaps no one is more highly sought after than super-utility man, Ben Zobrist.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting that both teams from New York, the Giants, and the Nationals are all currently interested in acquiring Zobrist for the rest of 2015. Of these four teams, San Francisco is certainly the strangest, as they don't have a position where he could play everyday. However this might be an indication that Angel Pagan's health is deteriorating, as there have been reports that his left knee is mangled.
Also, Pagan’s left knee is an absolute mess. You should see the contraption he has on it just to play. #sfgiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) July 6, 2015
If Pagan were forced to the disabled list for a considerable amount of time, Zobrist would make sense, but only then. His primary position is 2nd base, and Joe Panik (the All-Star second baseman) isn't going anywhere. He can also play left field, but with Nori Aoki's rehab progressing rapidly, that doesn't seem like a viable option; and now that Hunter Pence is back in the everyday lineup, right field is out of the question.
Another team that wasn't mentioned in Cafardo's article that could still be interested in Zobrist, is the Kansas City Royals. While the news on their injured outfielder Alex Gordon wasn't as bad as the initial reports suggested, he's still expected to miss at least eight weeks, which means that Jarrod Dyson will be picking up the majority of the playing time. If Dayton Moore decides that his offense will need more contributions, then Zobrist would make perfect sense.
The 2015 trade deadline has been remarkably slow this year, and with the month almost half over already, it should start to pick up soon. If there's any bright side, this just means that the final two weeks will be even crazier than we're used to.