OAKLAND - The A's obviously made news Monday by dealing Sonny Gray and Adam Rosales.
Just as noteworthy are a couple of veterans who stayed put.
Second baseman Jed Lowrie and first baseman Yonder Alonso both appeared to be trade candidates as July unfolded. Lowrie is playing well, and the A's have top prospect Franklin Barreto as an option at second base. Alonso will be a free agent at season's end, and first base is also a position where the A's can utilize younger players in Ryon Healy and Matt Olson.
With the deadline having passed and both veterans still wearing green and gold, it remains to be seen how - or if - Barreto and Olson factor into the plans over the month of August. Once rosters expand to 40 on Sept. 1, the numbers crunch vanishes. It's easy to envision the A's giving Barreto an extended look in the lineup in September.
Billy Beane, the head of A's baseball operations, referenced Lowrie's reasonable $6 million club option for next season and praised Lowrie's play this year.
"In Jed's case, we have a club option on him and Jed's had a great year," Beane said. "We certainly plan on deciding on (his option) in the offseason. In Alonso's case, he's having a great year for us. We weren't going to move somebody just to move somebody."
Asked if a long-term extension has been discussed regarding Alonso, Beane left the door open to that consideration, though with the A's having young players available for first base, extending Alonso would seem to run counter to their long-term vision.
It will be interesting to watch in particular whether Barreto's play with Triple-A Nashville throughout August warrants his call-up before September rolls around. Overall, Barreto is hitting .272 with 11 homers and 37 RBI for Nashville. He spent 11 games with the A's bridging June and July and saw time at shortstop with Marcus Semien on the disabled list, but Barreto's long-term position figures to be second base.
Speedy 22-year-old Jorge Mateo appears the jewel of the three-player package the A's received from the Yankees for Gray. He'll report to Double-A Midland and play shortstop for now. Mateo also has experience in center field.
The other two players in the return package are sidelined for the rest of the season. Right-hander James Kaprielian, who pitched at Single-A last year, is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Beane mentioned May as a possible target date for his full return. Outfielder Dustin Fowler ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee in early July, but Beane said the A's are confident Fowler will be ready for spring training and that he expects Fowler to compete to be the A's starting center fielder next year.
"Sonny was a great player for us, but at this point we need a lot of great players," Beane said. "There's a talent deficit that exists right now, and the way to acquire multiple good players is to trade some of the good players you currently have ….
"Had we been in a different spot in our development we might not have considered somebody like Kaprielian because of Tommy John surgery. That was us saying we know this is going to take time, so let's take the best talent available."