CLEVELAND — A question was asked about the trade deadline, and Josh Reddick glanced up at the clock.
Certainly it won’t be the last time the A’s right fielder does that in the coming hours and perhaps into Monday morning.
“What do we got? Fifteen hours? Sixteen hours, something like that,” Reddick said Sunday afternoon. “I’m just gonna treat it like I have been. If something happens, it happens. If something doesn’t, it doesn’t. That’s great. But I’ve spoken what I’ve said in the past and I stick by it. And that’s until 1:01 tomorrow.”
Reddick was speaking about his own uncertain status leading up to Monday’s 1 p.m. non-waiver deadline for major league teams to make trades. But he was likely voicing the thoughts of others on the A’s who wonder how different — or similar — the team could look when it next takes the field Tuesday at Angel Stadium.
The feeling around baseball circles leading into the weekend was that the A’s could be one of the most active teams leading up to the deadline, considering how far back in the standings they are and because they’ve got several veterans that might be enticing to contenders. Tops on that list are starting pitcher Rich Hill and Reddick, who are both headed to free agency after this season.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Gray rocked in Cleveland, A's swept by Indians]
But by the time the book was closed on Oakland’s 8-0 loss Sunday that completed a three-game sweep, the A’s still hadn’t completed a major deal, their only move being Saturday’s trade that sent Billy Burns to Kansas City for outfielder Brett Eibner.
“I try not to get too caught up in that,” manager Bob Melvin said of the trade rumor machine. “It’s hard not to, but it’ll be a bit of a relief if we do get by and don’t have a significant move, because we’re talking about some good players. You’d like to have your good players, especially the way we’ve been playing here recently (before the sweep). Especially creeping back toward .500. We get to eight (under), and then hit a buzzsaw here.”
The A’s (47-58) won their first four series coming out of the All-Star break and were riding high until getting swept by the Indians, with Sonny Gray getting tagged for seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings in Sunday’s finale. But realistically, this weekend’s results can’t be weighing heavily into the A’s thinking in regard to the deadline. They would have to go 38-19 over their final 57 games just to get to 85 wins, and no way would that guarantee them one of the two Wild Card spots in the American League.
That would suggest the A’s will sell, but being that they haven’t swung a significant deal to this point, it indicates that the front office is holding out for the strongest offers possible.
Hill, sidelined since July 17 with a blister on his throwing hand, and Reddick are both drawing interest from the Blue Jays, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, who reported that Toronto was interested in the same kind of combo deal for both players that the Dodgers were known to be talking to the A’s about.
Should Hill stick with the A’s, he’ll throw off the mound Tuesday with the tentative plan of him starting Friday against the Cubs at the Coliseum. But the final hours before the deadline could persuade contending teams to cave and offer up prospects they initially weren’t willing to give up. Aside from Reddick and Hill, it’s not out of the question that infielders Jed Lowrie and Danny Valencia or veteran relievers John Axford, Ryan Madson or Marc Rzepczynski could draw interest.
Moving forward, the A’s will continue trying to rebuild Gray’s confidence after he gave up seven runs for the fourth time this season. Melvin said with conviction that he thought Gray’s stuff was not a problem Sunday, and that he was the victim of bad luck on several singles that found holes. Gray agreed to a degree, saying he’s watched video that convinces him his stuff has the same zip of previous seasons.
But the buck stops with the final stat line of each start, and after 20 starts this season, the 2015 All-Star carries the American League’s highest ERA (5.84) among qualified starters.
“Every time there’s been some positives to take from a start, something like this seems to happen, so it’s very frustrating,” Gray said.
Now the A’s are off Monday in Anaheim as they wait for the 1 p.m. deadline to pass. Melvin said his daughter is taking him to Disneyland, so he won’t be glued to his smartphone monitoring rumors. Reddick isn’t sure what to expect.
“It’s going to be interesting with the off-day, to wake up and anticipate what’s gonna happen,” he said. “I’ll just have to keep myself busy and I guess stay by the phone. But we shall see.”