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A's add Callaspo, now look to in-house options

Beane trades for infielder, but pitching help will come from Anderson, prospects

OAKLAND -- Just because his club was sitting comfy atop the American League West didn't mean A's general manager Billy Beane was going to let Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline come and go without making a peep.

That's just not his style.

"We're in a pretty unique position," said Beane, whose A's held a five-game advantage over the Rangers entering Wednesday. "I think we need to do everything we can to help this club out. The guys here, [manager] Bob [Melvin], the staff and the people that follow this team deserve that."

So Beane went out Tuesday night and got the A's an infield upgrade in veteran Alberto Callaspo, relinquishing his 2009 first-round Draft pick, Grant Green, to the Angels in return.

No other move was made by Oakland before Wednesday's 1 p.m. PT deadline, as expected.

"I feel really good about this group," Melvin said. "I did before we even upgraded with Callaspo. So if I felt great about it yesterday, I feel even greater about it today."

Outside of Callaspo, the first-place A's were in the market for pitching help, whether by way of a starting arm or a relief one -- but only at the right price, as they refused to give up top prospects Sonny Gray and Addison Russell in any deal.

Even without adding to their pitching staff through a trade, the A's do have another arm on the way. A really good arm, at that.

Lefty Brett Anderson, on the disabled list since the end of April because of a stress fracture in his right foot, is scheduled to face hitters for the first time on Friday, and a rehab assignment is likely to follow. That means the A's could get their Opening Day starter back within two or three weeks.

It was around this same time last year Anderson was gearing for a return from Tommy John surgery. He came back Aug. 21 and allowed just two earned runs over his first 26 innings. Overall, he compiled a 2.57 ERA in six starts before suffering an oblique injury. He returned in the postseason to start and win Game 3 of the AL Division Series against Detroit.

"Hopefully I can have a run like I did last year, whether it's starting or relieving," Anderson said Wednesday. "Where I pitch, it's all kind of up in the air at this point. Relieving's been discussed a little bit, but you wait until you get to the point where you can pitch in games and see where we [have] a need and go from there.

"I'm not opposed to it. I've obviously started the majority of my career, but the possibility of relieving is kind of exciting, get that extra adrenaline going and get in different situations. Whatever can get me back on the mound."

"Brett's doing well, and we anticipate his arrival soon," Beane said. "At some point, we have to recognize the way Sonny Gray's pitching, too. He becomes an option for us somewhere. We always had that in the back of our mind, too, that we always had some in-house options that were quickly going to be able to contribute."

Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the player has already cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded.

The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.

Jane Lee is a reporter for

Oakland Athletics