The Oakland Athletics continue to be surprise entrants in the Wild Card race. Some in baseball keep waiting for them to come back to earth and drop out of the race, but apparently Billy Beane isn't one of them as he just pulled off a trade for shortstop Stephen Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for shortstop prospect Sean Jamieson.
This trade is probably bigger in terms of name recognition than actual on-field impact as Drew has been a shell of his former self since returning in late-June from a gruesome ankle injury he suffered last season. Even though Drew currently sports an ugly .193/.290/.311 slash line, Oakland is acquiring him in hopes that he will provide an offensive spark at a position where they have gotten almost no production as shown by the collective .187/.253/.292 slash line from their shortstops thus far. Drew can't possibly be any worse than that, so this is really a no lose situation for Oakland.
In fact, there is a chance that the change of scenery might do Drew some good since he had developed some bad blood with the ownership in Arizona regarding the speed, or lack thereof, of his recovery from ankle surgery. Let's face it, the Drew family has a history of not playing well unless they are 100% happy and healthy. Given a better mood and one last chance to rebuild his free agent value and the A's might have themselves a steal of a trade. Couple Drew's arrival with tomorrow's season debut from Brett Anderson and the A's odds of hanging in the AL Wild Card race just got a whole lot better.
That ownership squabble with Drew is likely why the Diamondbacks were willing to let Drew go for next to nothing, as Jamieson is not considered to be much of a prospect. The biggest benefit to the D'Backs is probably the $1.35 million buyout they were going to have to pay to avoid Drew's $10 million mutual option for 2013. That distinct pleasure now goes to the Athletics, who surely can't afford that option given their budgetary constraints.