While the rumors regarding certain players and which teams are looking to acquire them have begun to heat up, there still has yet to be a meaningful trade this month. It's unclear if front offices are reluctant to sell because of the second wild card, or they simply aren't getting trade offers that they like, but the fact is that this has been an excruciatingly slow trade deadline.
However with just nine days before July 31st passes and teams have to deal with waivers interfering with the trade process, the open for sale signs have started to crop up; the latest of which is the Oakland Athletics.
Oakland perceived in the industry to be officially open for business, and the A's have pieces that interest other clubs--Kazmir and Zobrist.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 22, 2015
Of the players that are likely available from the A's, Scott Kazmir and Ben Zobrist are by far the most coveted. Since the start of the 2014 season, Kazmir has resurrected his career, and in exactly 300 innings, he has an ERA of 3.12, an FIP of 3.26, and a SIERA of 3.60. He's a free agent at the end of this year, but with starting pitching in high demand by a plethora of teams, Billy Beane should be able to extract a prospect package with at least one impact player in the deal.
Zobrist is also a free agent at the end of 2015, but like Kazmir, he's one of the most sought after players on the market. He has extraordinary positional versatility, which makes him an ideal candidate for the Royals and Pirates, who need help in multiple areas. Zobrist has also been linked to the Mets, Yankees, Nationals, and Giants, which should make it fairly easy for Beane to work out a favorable trade to help his never ending rebuild of the A's.
While Olney lists just Kazmir and Zobrist, players like Tyler Clippard, Ike Davis, Sam Fuld, Billy Butler, and Josh Reddick could all be available as well. The latter two, Butler and Reddick, are seemingly the least likely of that group, but as Beane has shown time and time again, he's the baseball George R.R. Martin, and nobody on his team should ever be considered safe.