Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
There don’t appear to be any indications that he’s been formally placed on the trading block, but it is starting to appear inevitable that the Oakland Athletics will look to move outfielder Michael Taylor before the season begins. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has the details in her latest column:
"I know I say this almost every day, but it happens every day: scouts asking about the A’s plans for Michael Taylor. He’s not a fit for their roster, unlike Sam Fuld, and he’s out of options, so he’d have to clear waivers for the team to keep him. He won’t clear waivers, not with this level of interest. One scout told me today he would love to see his club trade for Taylor because he knows Taylor would not fall to that club on the waiver wire. One scout told me two days ago he’s pretty sure his team either already has made an offer or is preparing to make an offer for Taylor. Amazing what a strong spring can do for an out of options player and great for Taylor, who has spent four years at Sacramento."
The 28 year old Taylor has indeed had an impressive Spring Training. He’s hit .313/.389/.646 in 54 PA, adding 3 HR and 5 2B. There’ve been few questions about his offensive potential, however, as he’s consistently hit well at Triple-A over the past four seasons, including finishing the 2013 campaign with a .281/.360/.474 line in 481 PA. Getting that talent to translate at the Major League level has been the concern.
Over parts of the past three seasons Taylor’s managed to bat a mere .135/.210/.189 over 81 PA with the A’s. He’s struck out in 32% of those trips to the plate, which has also been a major concern.
Slusser doesn’t allude to which teams may have interest in acquiring Taylor but it’s worth reiterating that any team that does will need to be able to keep him on their active roster. One would think that perhaps an AL club might be the best fit, given the potential to use him at DH with some regularity, but with the regular interleague schedule that advantage has become somewhat mitigated.