3 Oakland Athletics the Mariners should target at the trade deadline

One team's at the top of the AL West, one is at the bottom. Can two rivals help each other get better?
Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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RP Lucas Erceg - 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

With Gregory Santos on the road to recovery and currently on a rehab assignment with the Tacoma Rainiers, the Mariners' bullpen might not need the help. However, it remains to be seen how effective Santos will be and another reliever couldn't hurt, especially if it's relatively cheap for the team.

Lucas Erceg is one of several hidden gems in Oakland's bullpen living in the shadow of superstar Mason Miller. Spending most of this year as Miller's setup man, he's striking out opposing batters at a 27.6% clip while getting whiff (31.6%) and chase (32.4%) rates in the top 15% of qualified pitchers. His slider is especially nasty, with a strikeout rate at 56.5% and a .043 opposing batting average. Combined with a sinker/four-seam pair that both sit at 98.5 mph, it's no wonder he has been able to find success.

The Mariners will already have to choose who to leave behind to make room for Santos. Right now, it seems like Eduard Bazardo will likely be optioned first. If the Mariners do decide to pick up someone like Erceg, Mike Baumann could be the next to go. He doesn't have any options remaining so he'll have to be designated for assignment assuming he isn't traded himself. For an arm talent like Erceg, it could be a necessary move.