Chicago Cubs: 3 trade destinations for Ian Happ – #1: Oakland Athletics
You should start to sense a trend here. Like Boston and New York, Oakland has several players coming off the books in the near future and have already lost outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha. Chad Pinder, another outfielder whose contract is cheap, is still on an expiring deal nonetheless after the 2022 season concludes and therefore the holes in the outfield begin to pile up.
Even more importantly to keep and eye on in Oakland in what the Oakland front office plans to do with Steven Piscotty. After this season, he will have a club option at $15 million for 2023 but it’s honestly hard to envision a scenario where Oakland, who is a smaller market team and loves cutting salary wherever they can as it is, picks up that option after Piscotty has so abysmally struggled in an A’s uniform the past two years.
As an Athletic, Piscotty has slashed .230/.311/.394 but those numbers grow even more alarming when you realize that the last two seasons he has batted just .226 in 2020 and .220 in 2021. Not exactly something the Athletics organization can be happy about in regards to committing that much money to him. That is also where a guy such as Happ comes in.
It is not likely Oakland signs a huge dollar star. Happ’s versatility in the field makes him a pretty decent trade target for multiple teams, especially if he stays consistent at the plate. Other than that, given the smaller market capabilities of the Athletics, dumping Piscotty’s contract just may be on the top of the A’s wishlist and a cheaper, more versatile Happ could be just in the price range they are looking for come trade deadline time.
The Athletics don’t even need to find a trade partner for Piscotty, as they can simply not pick up his option after this year. The idea of finding a replacement outfielder would be foretelling of Piscotty’s future and it wouldn’t surprise me if they come calling for Happ if he is made available at the trade deadline.