Despite losing three of their last four, the Oakland Athletics still sit in first place (by 0.5 games) in the AL West. It's late enough in the season to call the Athletics serious contenders, however, it's clear the division will be a battle with the second-place Houston Astros all season long.
In heated pennant races, sometimes adding a key piece at the deadline is all teams need to push themselves over the top. For the Athletics, that key piece may come by finding a reliever to bolster their bullpen at the trade deadline. Currently, the Athletics own the 13th-best bullpen ERA (3.86) in the league, but injuries have persisted as an issue.
Here are three options the Athletics should trade for at the deadline in order to bolster their bullpen for a postseason run.
Oakland Athletics Trade Targets
1. Richard Rodriguez
The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves as one of the worst teams in baseball this season. That's no surprise as this team sits in the middle of a full rebuild. Still, this hasn't stopped Pirates closer Richard Rodriguez from putting together a career year. For that reason, he's a prime trade candidate at the deadline. Rodriguez owns a 1.61 ERA through 21 games. He's finished 18 games and recorded 6 saves and has eclipsed or is approaching career-high marks in all of these categories. Pairing Rodriguez with Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman, who both own sub-3.00 ERAs, would be a nasty option for Oakland's bullpen.
2. Caleb Smith
Caleb Smith also finds himself having a career year on a bad Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Arizona is just 19-36 on the year and already trails the NL West leaders by 15.5 games. Still, he's pitched to a solid 3.27 ERA in 19 games. The most attractive part of adding Smith is that he throws left-handed, an area that Oakland is seriously lacking in the bullpen. Currently, Diekman is the only healthy lefty reliever for the Athletics.
3. Daniel Hudson
Daniel Hudson, a 12-year MLB veteran, has bounced back in a big way for the Washington Nationals this season. He owns a 2.33 ERA after recording a 6.10 ERA in 2020. Washington continues to slip in the NL East standing, now sitting with a 21-29 overall record and 7.0 games back of the first-place New York Mets. The Nationals may become sellers at the deadline and Hudson is a reliable and veteran piece for the Athletics to focus on.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.