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DLD 01-15-13 – “Please hurry, baseball” edition

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We are definitely in the doldrums of the offseason around these parts. With football waning and hockey just getting its act together, what’s a fan to do who doesn’t watch basketball? I guess wait for any A’s mews to come out, that’s what (other than get ready for FanFest, that is)…

Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Aside from the aforementioned contract extension of Bob Melvin, other A's business included the signing of an MOU between the A's and Mesa, AZ to play at HoHoKam Park starting in 2015. Athletics68 did a FanPost on HoHoKam itself, noting that the park will be renovated to the tune of up to $20M. So, despite the A's quest for a new Bay Area home being stalled, the A's will at least have a new springtime home and training facility to look forward to. Huzzah?

Also, yesterday, the A's announced that they agreed to terms with George Kottaras on a one-year deal. Kottaras was acquired last year in the deal that sent Fautino de los Santos to the Brewers and brought Kottaras here. Between both the A's and the Brewers, Kottaras posted an extremely respectable wRC+ of 114 and pumped 9 HR over the fence. In 27 games with the A's, he hit 6 HR (including an eventual game-winner at TEX in the 10th inning, which at 0.370 WPA was one of the bigger HR of the season and also a difference maker in the final standings).

Naturally, Bill James projections on him come in optimistic, with 100 games played (357 PA), a .342 wOBA, and 13 HR for the A's. ZIPS is more in line with what I would expect, with 222 PA, a .306 wOBA, and 6 HR. Of course, if Norris hasn't significantly improved, the A's could be seeing a lot of Kottaras behind the plate so his actual performance is bound to be variable based on the unpredictability of games played for him.

(I'll be writing a projections round-up pretty soon, so sit tight for that in about a week or so).

That leaves Jerry Blevins, Seth Smith, and Brandon Moss as players who are not yet under contract for 2013. As is customary for the A's, they are extremely unlikely to head to an actual arbitration hearing with any of these guys. In addition, I do expect all 3 of them to be playing for the A's in 2013 (rather than be traded), unless they are part of a bigger package. That said, Seth Smith might want to start learning to play some other position, as the crowded outfield situation makes it difficult to see how he'll get PAs if Crisp, Reddick, Cespedes, and Young are all going to be in the lineup most days.

Please feel free to post any A's/MLB news you have. Just no Lance Armstrong.