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MLB trade rumors: Athletics focused on Stephen Piscotty

Oakland wants outfield depth in the form of a righty slugger.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics are not ready to stand idly by and let everyone else enjoy the Winter Meetings. The team has shown intense interest in Cardinals’ right fielder Stephen Piscotty, reports Susan Sussler of the San Fransisco Chronicle.

The Athletics are trying to add hitting power to their outfield, one of their weaker, more shallowly stocked parts of their lineup. Let’s just get it out there: Piscotty did not have the most sparking 2017. Perhaps it’s a delayed sophomore slump? A junior slump? Can that be a thing? After coming off of a 2016 that saw the former Rookie of the Year candidate slash 273/.343/.457 with 22 homers, last season produced an anemic .235/.342/.367 in 401 plate apperences. Being plagued by groin and hamstring injuries as well as a cup of coffee in Triple-A did not help the California native’s offensive numbers, and by virtue of that his offseason stock as well.

The 26-year old signed a six-year, $33.5M extension with the Cardinals in April but given the rough and tumble 2017 he had, Oakland could have him for an affordable price tag. One bad year does not a washed up player make, and Piscotty would be a low risk / high reward score for Oakland. The power from his first two years in the big leagues remains steady, and despite his cringe enducing slash line Piscotty has improve his discipline in the batter’s box. Everyone is entitled a rough year in their mid-20’s, right?

It’s unclear who the Cardinals would be asking for exactly in exchange, but the logical conclusion would be Khris Davis. Yes, the very same Khris Davis that the Athletics are not willing to part with and have told several inquiring teams (cough cough Red Sox cough cough) to take a hike. I see there’s been an impasse reached. In addition of all the cash Piscotty raked in from his extension, written into his contract is also a $1M buyout of his $15M club option come 2023.

The Cardinals are stacked when it comes to power hitting outfielders, with Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler as the other two everyday outfielder. Piscotty would be the most expendable player for St. Louis this winter. St. Louis is still icing their burns after losing on on Giancarlo Stanton, so there’s no doubt that on their list of demands to Oakland would include an offense monster.