Oakland Athletics: Is Ryon Healy Next on the Chopping Block?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: Ryon Healy
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: Ryon Healy /

Once again, the Oakland Athletics are the center of attention toward a young player being traded. This time around, the focus is on third baseman and DH Ryon Healy.

After another season in which Oakland’s soon-to-be only sports franchise finished in last place in the AL West, Billy Beane and the front office look to load up on young talent for the future. Their movement comes at a price: raw talent currently in the Major Leagues. In this case, the victim is Ryon Healy, according to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser.

Why Now?

Healy has only played 221 games for the Oakland A’s, but has already shown flashes of power. In just 888 plate appearances, he has smashed 38 home runs and 115 RBI’s. Healy’s value is the highest it has ever been, and the Athletics plan to capitalize on that opportunity.

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Although Ryon Healy strikes out a lot – and I mean A LOT – he is under team control for another five years, becoming arbitration eligible in 2019. This incentive allows teams to craft a trade that helps them now and for the long term. However, there are serious limitations on the destinations Healy can wind up.

Not only does Healy have issues striking out, his defense has been atrocious. This has caused his playing time to be limited to the DH spot, with the occasional start at first. The rise of rookie Matt Chapman, highly overshadowed due to the appearance of Aaron Judge, has phased Healy out of a third base platoon.

Competing for Playing Time

Another factor in the decision to ship Healy out of the Bay Area is the presence of slugger Khris Davis. Davis, who crushed 43 home runs last season, is also known for being strikeout-heavy and having poor defense. This has caused many A’s fans to call for a move from left field to DH for Davis, where Healy normally operates.

This stipulation severely limits his trade destinations as well, given that many NL teams cannot afford to have a defensively-weak slugger in their line up like an AL team can. This fact reduces the chance teams like the Giants and Cardinals pull the trigger on a trade. Teams in the AL West would have to pay a higher price for Healy, leaving a select few teams with enough to trade for him.

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Ryon Healy is a quality player in the majors. Unfortunately for the Oakland Athletics, trading him will be relatively difficult task for them to overcome.