Last offseason, they traded away cornerstone Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays, a move that shocked the baseball world.
Two other players that have been rumored off-and-on as possible Athletics' trade candidates have been right-handed starter Sonny Gray and outfielder Josh Reddick, both young, controllable players that could net Oakland lots of prospect talent in a deal.
GM Billy Beane told Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com today that he "just cannot see us trading Gray or Reddick."
"Trading Gray is not something I think we could do," Beane said. "We have to put a representative product on the field, and continue to dream we get a ballpark. We should have good pitching, with Gray, Jarrod Parker, Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt, maybe Sean Manaea during the season."
Sonny Gray has been one of the best young pitchers in baseball over his three-year career, going 33-20 with a 2.88 ERA (3.36 FIP) in 491 innings, posting a 419:153 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Gray was named to the AL All-Star team for the first time in 2015.
Gray, who will become arbitration eligible for the first time next offseason, could become pricey for the small-market Athletics in the future. Beane, however, thinks that the team can handle a contract raise.
"I look at the way the market is going and realize the teams with the money are going to spend it on free agent pitching rather than trading three or four top prospects. Good young players are worth too much today."
As for Reddick, the 28-year-old Reddick is further along in the arbitration process than Gray, becoming arbitration-eligible for third and final time this offseason, which means that he could become a free agent next year.
This means that Reddick only has one more year of team control left. However, it's not likely to be an expensive one for Beane, as he is projected to earn $7 million in arbitration this offseason, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.
Reddick hit .272/.333/.449 with 20 homers and 77 runs batted in over 582 plate appearances last season.