The A's longest-tenured position player might be the odd man out.
The 2013 Oakland A's are all about versatility. The infielders are largely interchangeable and there will be a rotation of solid outfielders.
Then there's first base, where an outfielder-turned-infielder holds the lead spot, leaving a former catcher on the outside. Daric Barton is the longest-tenured position player, but he might not have a position come April 1. Manager Bob Melvin says that Barton, who is out of options, is still in the mix to make the 25-man roster because of his defense and ability to hit lefties.
Barton talked with the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea about the A's upcoming roster squeeze and where he fits in:
"I stopped worrying about what's going to happen," Barton said. "All I focus on now is what I can do on a daily basis. That's probably the biggest mind-set change I've had. It seems to be working well. I'm all right with whatever happens. Obviously, I'm trying to make the team. But that's out of my control."
One of the main problems is that other than first base (and, well, designated hitter), Barton doesn't play another position. Whereas some of the other A's bench options (Eric Sogard, Andy Parrino, Adam Rosales) can play all over the infield, Barton is pretty much limited to first base. Jed Lowrie and Rosales have been discussed as right-handed counterparts to the lefty Brandon Moss.
Even though Moss and Barton both hit left-handed, they could form a platoon of sorts, with Moss taking the lion's share of the at-bats and Barton hitting against left-handers, where he's oddly enough had more success.
What should the A's do about Barton?