Don't look now, but the Oakland Athletics are quietly making plenty of noise in the American League. Despite looking up at the Houston Astros in the AL West standings, the A's hold one of the AL Wild Card spots as of this writing.
However, if they want to hold off the Rays, Red Sox and others, they'll need to make some improvements before the trade deadline, especially when it comes to pitching. With that being said, here's a look at five players they should target.
1. Jordan Lyles, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
As we mentioned above, pitching will be a focus for the Athletics. They're in need of a starter and Jordan Lyles certainly fits the bill. He's having a bit of an up-and-down campaign, posting a 5-6 record to go along with a 4.91 ERA. However, the veteran hurler has the experience the A's need and could be a strong option to give them big innings once the postseason arrives, should the team make it.
2. Jason Vargas, SP, New York Mets
The Mets have made it quite clear and well known they're open to trading Vargas before the deadline. How about a return to the AL West, this time with the Athletics? Vargas is 4-5, with a 4.25 ERA this season. Those aren't ace numbers, but certainly more than good enough to make a difference for a team in need of some back-end rotation help.
3. Alex Colome, RP, Chicago White Sox
It's not just starting pitching Oakland needs some help at. They could use some bullpen assistance as well. A name that jumps out is Chicago White Sox righty Alex Colome. The 30-year-old righty is putting together a standout campaign, posting a 2.33 ERA and 21 saves. With Chicago once again struggling this year, they'll look to be sellers. It'd take some young talent to bring him in, but Colome could be worth the price.
4. Sergio Romo, RP, Miami Marlins
A 36-year-old veteran, Romo has 16 saves for the Marlins this year. His 3.79 ERA isn't too shabby either. He'd be able to step in with Oakland and help the team's bullpen right away. He also holds a 1.21 WHIP, with 31 strikeouts on the year.
5. Eric Sogard, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays
Yes, the Athletics need pitching, but they could use some infield help too. Enter second baseman Eric Sogard. Sogard is drawing plenty of trade interest, with the Cubs among the most recent teams being mentioned. He's hitting an impressive .305 so far in 2019, with 10 dingers and 30 RBI. At 33 years old, he's got plenty left in the tank to help a team go on a postseason run. The A's should pick up the phone.
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