ARLINGTON -- The term "standing pat" doesn't usually correlate with Billy Beane's M.O., especially in the weeks leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
But the A's general manager has insisted since the start of July that there's really no reason to consider his club buyers or sellers this year. Rather, he's said all along that "standing pat" just might be the way to go, given the current team's makeup.
Thus, as the Trade Deadline stands just four days away, the A's stand still and likely plan on doing so for the remainder of the week.
"I don't anticipate us being real active," Beane said recently. "I've felt that way going into it. We're starting to get some guys back real soon. We just got Dallas [Braden] back and hopefully Conor [Jackson] will be back. I'd like to provide a little bit of continuity going into the end of the season and give us a chance to see some of the guys that we originally thought were going to play more to actually play together. We've hung in there pretty well."
The A's entered Tuesday's three-game series opener with the first-place Rangers 7 1/2 games back in the division, tied for second with the Angels, and two games above the .500 mark. Beane realizes health is key in order to compete with the likes of the Rangers and Angels, but he hasn't seen enough of it to know if his club can truly be a serious contender.
"I couldn't answer that because I've never seen them all back healthy," he said. "But I think we've shown ourselves well given the circumstances. Listen, Texas has got a good team. They've improved it significantly with the addition of Cliff Lee. At least we're over .500 now. When you're under .500, I don't even think it's a question you can address. You got to get over .500 before you can do that.
"The Angels are always going to be difficult, and they're right ahead of us. Texas is maybe playing as good baseball as anyone in the league right now -- in both leagues -- and they've made a huge improvement in Cliff Lee. I think we take it one step at a time."
Those steps, then, probably don't include shipping away names like Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow -- a pair of relievers who, at this point, would likely give the A's the best possible return package. Righty Ben Sheets was supposed to do that, but he all but wiped his name from trade rumors Saturday when joining the disabled list with a strained right elbow. Aside from those pitchers, though, only Mark Ellis -- on rare occasions -- has been mentioned in trade talk, and he likely won't be going anywhere, either.
"It's like we're holding sand -- you get one guy back and you lose another guy," Beane said. "If we can get all our pitching back here -- we have good pitching -- anything can happen."
That sentiment, fueled by Brett Anderson's impending return, has Beane and Co. watching from the sidelines this week.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.