Ben Sheets Among Possible Athletics Pitchers Who Could be Traded

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When Ben Sheets takes the mound for the A's against the Red Sox on Monday night, it could be his last start in an Oakland uniform.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sheets has been targeted by the Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins, among other teams, as a potential trade deadline acquisition.

Sheets is just 4-8 with a 4.63 ERA in 2010, but he’s 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA so far in July. The 32-year-old has had a history of injury problems, including missing the entire 2009 season after having major elbow surgery.

But that didn’t stop Athletics GM Billy Beane from taking a shot at Sheets, a four-time All-Star, this winter. The A’s signed Sheets to a one-year, $10 million deal in January, hoping he would be the reliable veteran in a budding young Oakland rotation.

Oakland is 46-46, seven games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West, and it’s the A’s pitching — minus Sheets — that has kept them afloat in 2010. They are second in the AL with a 3.83 team ERA, but their 389 runs scored rank just 11th in the AL.

If Beane decides to go for a division title, he’ll keep Sheets and hope for the best. If not, he will likely look to move the right-hander, along with a few other members of the A’s pitching staff.

Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow were getting looks from the Detroit Tigers in Kansas City this weekend. Wuertz, a right-hander with a career 3.45 ERA in 364 appearances, is 2-1 with a 5.30 ERA in 25 games for Oakland this year. Breslow is a left-handed specialist who has held opposing hitters to a measly .188 average against him in 2010.

All three pitchers could give Oakland a high return if they were traded before the July 31 deadline.

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