Will The Forgotten Man Be This Winter's Best Bargain?

There is no question that the A's biggest needs are a SS, a hitter, and a veteran starting pitcher. Pretty much the only place the A's feel solid is in their bullpen - yet the bullpen is not quite as deep as it seems, because Oakland did trade Huston Street and that left the bullpen with three, not four, late-inning arms, one of which (Joey Devine) is untested in the closer role and coming off of a season shortened by injury, another of which (Brad Ziegler) is coming off a season no one could reproduce, and Jerry Blevins, who is "young and good" but not "seasoned and great." In other words, if other areas weren't more pressing, the A's would likely be interested in adding depth and strength to their bullpen.

On the free agent front, while Teixeira and Manny are chasing the big money, other sluggers like Burrell and Dunn are hardly under the radar due to their 30-40 HR numbers, while Derek Lowe figures to command plenty of interest and money because that's what successful starting pitchers do.

And then there's Trevor Hoffman. Here's a guy who was lowballed and ignored out of town by a Padre team that should be planning its first Trevor Hoffman Appreciation Day. And maybe it's just the overshadowing of so many other big names, but Hoffman does not appear to be drawing much attention from the other 29 teams, even though he is not only one of baseball's finest closers ever but he finished strong last year and would make a good closer or a great set-up man for any team.

So here's my question: As the A's pursue a solution at SS, another solid bat, a veteran starting pitcher, if the "bargain-of-the-offseason" proves to be Trevor Hoffman should the A's sign him, even though bargains too cost money that could be spent elsewhere?

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