Greetings from the Winter Meetings
DALLAS — Baseball’s Hot Stove scene has officially descended upon the Hilton Anatole here in Dallas, though the A’s are generating little buzz, at least for now. Expect the rumors surrounding trade bait Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey to escalate in the coming days, with Bailey the more likely of the two to be dealt sooner than later. Gonzalez will have his suitors, no doubt, but the A’s will surely allow time to make a competition out of, given their asking price — think another club’s top prospect and then some — is extremely high. The A’s are looking to net a good dose of power in return, at essentially every power spot: first base, third base and all outfield slots — positions which are far from set for next season.
As for the free-agent market, it’s pretty clear that the A’s are buying time, not players, right now. The seemingly neverending wait for a stadium decision has the club on a spending hold, meaning any new additions in the coming weeks are likely to be had by way of trade rather than free agents. Familiar face Josh Willingham is garnering plenty interest here, and I’d suspect his name to be wiped off the board soon. Coco Crisp, meanwhile, seems to still be a good fit for the Giants, with the Tigers also reportedly being a possibility despite the outfielder’s preference to remain on the West Coast. Meanwhile, Hideki Matsui’s camp is remaining quiet, and although his return seems unlikely at this point, I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out.
I’ll have updates from both manager Bob Melvin and GM Billy Beane following their media sessions this evening, so stay tuned…