by Russell Preston, KHTK Sacramento

The MLB trade deadline is approaching and if you’re an Oakland A’s fan, you know your team will be involved. Last year, the A’s made a splash by trading Yoenis Cespedes for ace Jon Lester. That trade could be considered a bust now that Lester bounced out of town to Chicago once the season ended. They also swapped top prospect Addison Russell to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija – a guy who also left to go to Chicago.

Then after a cringe-worthy offseason which included losing the most-voted all-star Josh Donaldson in a trade with Toronto, the A’s season has been bleak. Sitting in last place in the AL West, the A’s are not going to be buyers and you can bet Billy Beane is not in a “win now” mode.

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So, knowing Beane will sell a piece or two for some top prospects around the league, here are a few guys he should NOT trade away this season:

3. Ben Zobrist

This was a huge plus for the A’s after signing him this offseason. With all the negativity after the previously mentioned trades, the Zobrist signing went somewhat under the radar. He has hit over 10 home runs for the last seven seasons – all with the Tampa Bay Rays – and is on pace to continue the trend. He’s not a star by any means, but a player who can play any outfield position, DH or infield position is a priceless piece to have.

He is rumored to be on the trading block, and may get a mid-level prospect in return, but I’d recommend keeping him for the rest of the year. He is a free agent at the end of the year, so Beane may be tempted to trade him as a rental.

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2. Stephen Vogt

Vogt has been the most consistent player on the A’s roster this year. He’s one of the top catchers in the league and is the anchor of this team. If Beane trades him while the stock is high, they may get a sweet return, but with this year being his fourth year in the big leagues (first as a starter), who knows how much better he can get?

Plus, he’s a fan favorite. Don’t be too cruel, Billy. A’s fans are still mourning the Donaldson debacle.

1. Josh Reddick

Look, we know Reddick has shown dissatisfaction recently about the upper management. Beane & Co. want more platoons, Reddick wants to play everyday. The management needs to let Reddick play – he could be the last offensive star the A’s have this year. He has potential for 30 home runs – he did it a few years ago – and he plays some great defense.

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His return will be high and I’m sure many teams are calling Beane for the corner outfielder, but it’s too soon to let go of a guy with another year of team control. He’s cheap (owed $4.1 million this year), a hard-working player and he puts up good numbers. If Beane were smart, he would wait until the asking price is at it’s highest and that won’t be until next season.