Facing limited options, A's stay put at Deadline

Oakland brass shifting focus to Aug. 31 deadline to add postseason-eligible players

August 1st, 2018

OAKLAND -- The A's roster remained unchanged after Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, but that doesn't mean their search for outside help stops.

Bypassing a slim starters market, the A's hope a bolstered bullpen -- they added veteran reliever last week -- and a powered lineup can counterbalance an unreliable rotation in the meantime.

The club's decision-makers did their due diligence ahead of the Deadline, per general manager David Forst, and cast a wide net for starters, relievers and even position players. Unable to find their match, they now shift their focus to doing so before another important date: Aug. 31.

Between now and then, the playoff-hopeful A's must determine if they want to make a last-minute addition; players dealt after that time are not postseason-eligible.

"We were as busy as usual," Forst said. "We jumped out obviously with the Familia trade. That's where we were aggressive. We thought he could make a big impact on this team, but we certainly spent the last week talking with clubs and seeing what was available. Nothing came through today, but we will continue to try and continue to hope to add to the team."

Not since 2014 have the A's been in a position to buy, but their options were seemingly limited this go-around; as it pertains to starters, the top tier would have required several big-name prospects from a just-replenished A's farm system -- and the others simply didn't appeal to them, which is why supplementary relief help continues to be a possibility.

A report surfaced just minutes shy of Tuesday's deadline linking the A's to Tigers starter Mike Fiers, another suggesting the deal was done. However, sources indicated a deal was never in place. Elsewhere, the A's checked in on a handful of relievers, including San Diego's , per sources, and also expressed interest in left-handed-hitting outfielders, including , who was traded from Detroit to Cleveland.

"A lot of things have to come together to make any deal," Forst said. "Ownership showed with the Familia deal they were willing to take on money. That was not an issue. Some prices were higher than others in terms of prospects. It's also about getting the right guy. You can't just add anyone to the clubhouse. It has to be the right fit. It didn't come together today."

"I guess they just decided that whatever was available wasn't worth making a move," A's second baseman said. "I think we're confident in what we have. I think this team has done a good job of maintaining its focus. I think we're in a good place, and we can't worry about that."

A's starters have completed fewer than seven innings in each of their last 21 games, which is the second longest streak in Oakland history. Yet the club is 14-7 in that span, and 28-10 dating to June 16, sitting two games out of an American League Wild Card spot and five from the division lead.

"Every team has strengths and weaknesses," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We don't log as many innings from our starters, but when you win that many games, it means they're contributing and doing their job as well, just maybe not as long as some other teams."