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Can A's Go from Dubious Hitter to Designated Hitter?

Susan Slusser had a great piece of news to report to A's fans on Saturday and did so in the San Francisco Chronicle. Her article discussed that things may have changed on the re-signing Hideki Matsui front as Slusser wrote,

"the A's emphasis has turned to going younger and improving scouting and drafting, which might preclude re-signing Matsui, who is 37 and who had erratic production this past season. Interest in Matsui among team officials has waned as the A's continue to wait on a decision from MLB about their stadium situation, a drawn-out process that has created great frustration among Oakland's owners and front-office staff."

Although she walks that statement back a little highlighting Matsui and Bob Melvin's close relationship and such later in the article, this to me is a good sign. Matsui is not needed and though Slusser indicates the DH situation is hazy for the A's in 2012 - and it most certainly is - it is not hazy for a lack of options, such much so as hazy for a lack of good options - adding another bad option to the mix was not the solution. Matsui has had a great career, seems like a good humble guy, etc, but he is a luxury we do not need nor can afford in Oakland - and frankly at this point in his career luxury may be the wrong term altogether.

What the A's do have is a mess on their hands with that DH spot. Who would think in this day in age that DH would be a problem but it is for us. It looks like the contenders for DH will be Brandon Allen, Chris Carter and Kila Ka'aihue. I want to limit it to those three, because Daric Barton if he resurrects his career is in the field for sure and if the A's were so hesitant with making a young Carter a DH there is no way they do that with Michael Taylor and God forbid should Jai Miller somehow be a member of this team, he is a decent enough fielder that you would want him offsetting his 300 K's with some other facet of his "game".

There are free agent names on the market, but I think we can (and should) discount any ideas of getting them though some would be relatively affordable (Johnny Damon, Jorge Posada or Jim Thome). There is one free-agent that I think it'd be worth taking a flyer on (or is it flier? - spell check you've let me down): Wily Mo Pena. Unofficial stats but, with Pena he hits a home run for roughly 98% of his hits, granted hits comprise like 1.3% of his plate appearances, but I think on a minor-league deal, why not?

What does everyone else think about our DH position, which for Oakland seems a bit more like dubious hitter than designated hitter?