Taj's Take on the Offseason

Greetings, new-look AN! This is my first Fanpost on the new format. I've loved what Blez, Nico and others have done with the place recently. I'm a little confused about how Beane and Company are approaching their own community makeover so far this off-season and wanted to share my own thoughts about rosterbations from this point forward.

I wholeheartedly agreed with cuppingmaster's plea to get Stephen Drew signed as soon as possible. In fact, I'm really quite surprised that any of the A's free agents have gotten the opportunity to explore the free agent market. The LAST person I'd expect to be the first "re-sign" of the off-season would be Bartolo Colon. In order of priority, I would have said:

1) Drew

2) McCarthy

3) Gomes

A distant, almost non-existent, fourth would be Colon.

This list was also made in my head BEFORE the A's traded their only real legit internal shortstop option to the D-backs for Chris Young.

I think the Pennington/Cabrera for Young swap was a trade Beane simply needed to jump on, regardless of the depth-chart impacts. But I thought that move would put even more impetus and urgency into re-signing Drew.

In any case, the A's are where they are at for good reason, at least in terms of the information we have, as fans, at our disposal. So where do we go from here?

I definitely think the A's need another veteran starting pitcher, preferably not a 1-year reclamation project (we have that in Colon) but an innings-eater who can effectively use the Coliseum to max advantage. I'd love Mac back for a variety of reasons. But he's getting a ton of interest. And that's kind of the problem with all players who come to the A's as undervalued commodities, but eventually leave with a higher-profile and a higher paycheck (Drew also falls into this category).

To add to this conundrum, I am concerned about regression from Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss. These guys combined for 53 homers in 2012, and Moss had a .596 SLG with a .359 BABIP. I think Reddick will even out to be a very good player...a 20-25 homer guy who plays, get this, Gold-Glove defense in right field. But numbers are going to come down. Probably a lot.

From my end, Chris Carter still has a lot to prove as well as far as being a bankable power commodity in the major leagues.

Putting this all into actionable items if I were the A's:

1) I would pursue Drew and match any market-value offer out there. Similar to Beltre and Furcal, I think this is all the A's can do. Paying a premium just because you're Oakland could easily get out of hand, and is not something that Beane has really ever done, so I don't think it's realistic. If that doesn't work out...

2) Give a fair, two-year offer to McCarthy (maybe 2-years, $16 million) and then if that is rejected, wait the market out for a vet who falls through the free agent cracks. Servicable starters can thrive in the Coliseum at any time.

3) Account for the fact that if power is the name of the offensive game, then prioritize that in other considerations. The A's did this by getting Chris Young in one facet, but that doesn't account for regression from Moss and Reddick. It COULD be made up by banking on the Norris/Kottaras platoon and a Sizemore incursion on 2nd, but I think they need to do more.

I'm not averse to getting a cheap, young, defense-first SS like Zack Cozart from the Reds, provided this frees up resources for other upgrades. Maybe this can be accommodated by trading Coco and Balfour to the Reds with them kicking in another prospect.

With the money saved from shedding Balfour/Coco, maybe the A's could, after signing a solid starter, go after Kevin Youkilis...a nice part-time 3B, DH, 1B who could spell Donaldson and combine with Moss at 1st (since Carter is a major liability at 1st).

What do you think?

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