Sheets, Damon on As radar

All those thinking the A’s rotation is
the one area need not be touched heading into Spring Training, think again.
Recent reports are pointing toward a possible Ben Sheets signing in Oakland.

The 31-year-old free agent, who missed
all of 2009 because of elbow surgery, threw a pitching session in front of
several scouts and team officials — including those from Oakland — on Jan. 19
at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. His fastball topped out at 92 mph,
and his curveball was highly affective.

Now, almost one week later, the A’s are
apparently very much still interested despite Sheets’ desire for a guaranteed
$8 million in 2010. And while Billy Beane declined to comment, citing his
policy against discussing free agents, multiple reports say Oakland is
definitely in the mix. Other teams reportedly in a bidding war for the
right-hander include the Mets and Rangers.

The A’s do have some money to spend,
and Sheets would not only offer the A’s an added veteran presence in a very
young rotation, but also provide the club with some trade bait (Gonzalez?
Mazzaro?) to aide in their efforts in landing a power-hitting SS – the one area
on the field where depth is missing.

So while the Sheets interest may seem
somewhat of a head-scratcher at first glance, the notion doesn’t seem too crazy
upon further review – especially when Billy’s involved. However, the team is
also linked to an even stranger idea: Could Johnny Damon be back for a second
tour with the A’s if the Sheets signing doesn’t go down? Doesn’t quite make
much sense, but reports say it’s a definite maybe.

Last week at A’s Media Day, Geren
insisted he may have one of the best — if not, the best — defensive outfields
in the league with Davis in LF, Crisp in CF and Sweeney in RF. Damon’s not
exactly Gold Glove material out there, and he wouldn’t be much of a need at DH
either with Cust, Fox and (hopefully) Chavez already as options there.

Needless to say, the A’s roster could
be slapped with some changes by week’s end. Should be interesting to see how it
all plays out.


I don’t think the signing of Sheets makes Gio or Mazzaro trade bait. If anything, I see Sheets being trade bait half way through the year. With Duke and Sheets both being on 1 year contracts (if Sheets signs), the A’s will need two pitchers to fill their slots next year, and I don’t think Gio or Mazzaro are expendable.
However, I do think signing Sheets is a good idea, as it gives Cahill and Mazzaro more seasoning in AAA, which they seemed to need.

I read earlier that we signed Sheets today, which is good to hear, because I think we definitely need another veteran on our roster. Our poor rookies didn’t get much of a breather last season.

I’m also glad we didn’t end up trading anyone for Sheets. I wasn’t real sure about Gio at the beginning of last season, but as soon as he got his curve ball down, he definitely seemed more comfortable on the mound.

Welcome to the site & nice blog

– Opinion4Athletics

[…] Call To The Pen roptres that Melvin has managed three teams since his managerial debut in 2003.  The Mariners (2003-2004), the Diamondbacks (2004-2009) and the Athletics. […]

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