Themight be getting ready to make their move.
A shocking surge over the last six weeks has pushed the Athletics to a place where few expected to see them: the periphery of the American League wild-card race. There’s still a ways to go before they can catch the, who held a five-game lead on them for the second wild-card spot coming into play Friday, but that isn’t stopping Oakland’s brass from thinking ahead.
Club president Billy Beane seems to see a good deal of potential in this rag-tag group, and hinted Friday that he’s ready to make a push for the A’s first playoff berth in four years.
“At this time of year, I prefer to be a buyer and that’s what (general manager David Forst) and I are preparing to do,” Beane toldon Friday.
Beane and Co. would have good reason to make some kind of a run at October given how Bob Melvin’s men have been playing. Since June 1 the A’s own a .649 winning percentage, a mark they’ve reached largely by way of a balanced and potent offensive attack. All-Star second basemanis playing the best baseball of his career, while has continued to anchor the lineup with his powerful bat.
Starting pitching remains the weak link for Oakland, however, as a barrage of injuries has left the team with a patchwork rotation. It’s working for now – journeymanhas been a revelation, putting up a 2.45 ERA in his first three starts since joining the team last month – but the A’s would almost certainly need to upgrade their rotation in order to make a real push for the postseason.
Given that this season has been something of a surprise during what’s supposed to be another rebuilding year, it’s unlikely that the Athletics will be gunning for the biggest names available ahead of the deadline. But that doesn’t mean Beane and Forst are going to let this opportunity pass the team by completely, even if it is slightly ahead of schedule.
“We’re not going to sell the farm for one year, because we understand that we’re still five games out,” Beane explained. “… If we were five games up, it’d be different, maybe. We have to be calculating and not go scorched earth. But also I don’t think we can just necessarily assume we’re going to be able to do this for a lot of years and just forget about this year.
“I will say this, the only thing we know is up to this point is that it appears we are good enough to contend. And it’s not just about where we are, it’s where we’re headed. We seem to be getting better as the season goes along.”
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