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Let’s Trade Dexter Fowler to…Oakland Athletics

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Sep 7, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Astros outfielder

Dexter Fowler

(21) draws a bases loaded walk against the Oakland Athletics in the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Astros defeated the Athletics 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

For the final “Trade Dexter Fowler Day” proposal, I would like to look West again to the Oakland Athletics. Over this seemingly never-ending offseason, A’s General Manager Billy Beane has been wheeling and dealing, and who’s to say that it’s going to stop now.

Towards the beginning of the offseason, it looked as if Beane and the A’s were in rebuilding mode after trading away Josh Donaldson, Jeff Samardzija, and Brandon Moss. Recently, however, the A’s front office seems to be re-structuring their 2015 strategy with the acquisitions of Ben Zobrist from Tampa Bay and Tyler Clippard from Washington. Oakland is now poised to make a run in the AL West in 2015, and what they are missing right now is another outfielder that can fit right in the top of the order.

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Jeff Luhnow and Billy Beane are certainly not strangers to each other, and I’m sure while both have been working the phones during these past couple of weeks their paths have crossed. The A’s have acquired a multitude of young talent through their moves this offseason and have young and valuable trade assets. On the other side, the Astros are looking for starting pitching and according to Ken Rosenthal, are concerned about their lack of pitching depth.

So, here is my proposal.

The Astros trade Dexter Fowler to the Oakland Athletics for RHPs Chris Bassitt and Kendall Graveman

Why would Astros do this trade?

With the concern being starting pitching depth in Houston, the Astros could use two quality young arms from Oakland that could potentially impact the 2015 rotation. Right now, Bassitt is listed sixth on the Oakland starting rotation depth chart and Graveman is eigth. Graveman is listed as Oakland’s 9th best overall prospect while Bassitt is in the top 20 as well at 17.

If the Astros aren’t going to acquire a top of the rotation guy (Scherzer, Hamels, Shields), they should be looking for younger arms that could still make an impact in the majors this season. Bassitt, who was acquired in the Samardzija trade, has an ERA of 2.97 and 303 strikeouts through four seasons in the minors. Graveman, who was acquired in the Donaldson trade, had an ERA of 1.88 and a record of 3-2 in 6 games started at the AAA level in 2014.

Why would Oakland do this trade?

If the Oakland Athletics are trying to rebuild a competitive lineup in 2015, they need a guy like Dexter Fowler who can get on base from the top of the order. When you compare Fowler to Coco Crisp, the projected opening day starter in center field for Oakland, Fowler beat Crisp in 2014 by .30 points in batting average (.276 to .246) and by .39 points in on base percentage ( .375 to .336).

They both had their respective injury issues last season, but when you consider that Crisp is 34 years old while Fowler is 28, you can see how this would be a significant upgrade. Also, the A’s brought in a lot of young pitching through various trades this offseason and could afford to send Graveman and Bassitt to the Astros while maintaining their top pitchers, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, and Jesse Chavez.

Overall, getting some back-end starting rotation help combined with more young pitching talent would be a remarkable improvement from a Dexter Fowler trade for the Houston Astros. I hope you enjoyed “Trade Dexter Fowler Day” and be sure to vote on which proposal you think sounds the best.

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