GM Forst will evaluate options as Oakland deals with several injuries
By Mark Chiarelli
ALAMO, Calif. -- A's general manager David Forst said the team hasn't committed to a plan ahead of the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, adding it's had difficulty evaluating its injury-riddled roster through much of 2016.
Because of that, Forst said, the team will continue to evaluate its options over the next month.
"There's still a long way to go before deciding exactly what your strategy will be," said Forst, speaking at the team's Community Fund golf outing Monday.
"We've obviously made some deals at the Deadline last year, which set us up with guys like [Sean] Manaea and [Daniel] Mengden. So you know there's the possibility of that. At the same time, if you play better over the next month and get healthier, you still want to leave room for that. So we'll take some time to decide."
Oakland has a 28-41 record, has lost 12 of its past 15 games and is in last place in the American League West. The club has 10 players on the disabled list as of Monday and had as many as 13 players on the DL in late May, a league-high and team record. Forst said the Athletics' depth "has been tested more than we ever imagined."
"It's almost hard to evaluate, to be honest," Forst said.
The recent swoon has ramped up the attention surrounding several A's veterans, with The New York Post reporting Friday the Mets inquired about third basemen Danny Valencia. Players such as Rich Hill, Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick have been productive when healthy this year, and the team has long faced questions about the future of former All-Star Sonny Gray, who is 3-6 with a 5.54 ERA in 12 starts this season.
Forst politely declined to speak about specific players when asked about Gray.
"There are guys who we expect to be here for the long haul and be a part of this thing," Forst said. "Sonny is obviously one of those guys right now. But we'll see how things play out."
The A's were active prior to last year's Trade Deadline after similarly falling out of contention by July, making two significant deals. Oakland traded lefty Scott Kazmir to the Astros for Mengden and Jacob Nottingham (who they packaged for Khris Davis in February), and dealt Ben Zobrist to the Royals in exchange for Manaea and Aaron Brooks.
Manaea was 2-4 with a 6.02 ERA in nine starts before going on the disabled list with a left forearm strain last week. Mengden has delivered two strong starts since being called up June 11, posting a 2.25 ERA while striking out 12 in 12 innings despite taking two losses. The A's could return to this year's Deadline with a similar strategy.
Forst said the team is content to watch the market develop for now.
"We've done well letting things play out rather than jumping the gun -- we've let teams come to us," Forst said. "I think we'll take our time. If we can get healthier over the next month, let that happen, and then see where we are."
Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.