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Weekdays at Bernie's, 2/29/16: Oakland A's Spring Training entirely optimistic so far

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Oakland's young position prospects have impressed team staff so far, and Ian Desmond finally signed with a new club, among other news.

Middle infielder Chad Pinder is one of many talented young position players nearing the big leagues for the A's.
Middle infielder Chad Pinder is one of many talented young position players nearing the big leagues for the A's.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Weekday's at Bernie's! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!

  • The Athletics have collected a group of talented near-MLB-ready position players, and the A's brass has definitely noticed, as Jane Lee of MLB.com writes. Manager Bob Melvin speaks very highly of players such as Franklin Barreto, Chad Pinder, Joey Wendle, Matt Olson, Renato Nunez, Rangel Ravelo, and Matt Chapman. Check out Lee's article for more, including what positions some of them could be playing.
  • The Texas Rangers have added another piece to their powerful offense, inking ex-Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond to a one-year, $8 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Desmond will play left field for the Rangers in place of the injured Josh Hamilton, says Jim Bowden of ESPN. Desmond at such a low price seems like a bargain at first, until you factor in the draft pick the Rangers will give up to sign him, which is usually valued around $8-10 million. Desmond will also be learning left field after playing almost exclusively shortstop for the first seven years of his major league career. If Desmond can bounce back to his All-Star ways, this could be an absolute steal for Texas.
  • In case you missed it ... this weekend on AN, Alex gave a thorough round-up on the Chris Coghlan acquisition (link) and also took a look back at 2015's deadline trades (link), while Nico speculated about the A's roster crunch (link) and Tim asked what you guys would do next if you were the GM (link).

Best Shape of My Life

  • Film buff and new Athletics reliever John Axford disappointed many Sunday night by only going 17-for-24 in his annual Oscar predictions, tying his 2015 mark. In 2014, he went a perfect 18-for-18. He'll definitely be looking to improve next February.
  • Prior to the event, Sean Doolittle had some fun with his new teammate on Twitter:

That's all for today. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until next time -- lean on, A's fans!