Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

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.

Welcome.

Offseason greetings to all in the baseball community, and
welcome to a blog written by your newest A’s beat reporter for MLB.com. My name
is Jane Lee, and I officially joined the A’s full-time beat for MLB.com on
January 18. Hopefully some of you remember me, as I enjoyed a handful of
freelance work covering the A’s during the 2009 season and also worked
alongside former Oakland beat writer Mychael Urban as his associate reporter
the previous year. Thus, having two years of experience on the A’s beat under
my belt, I can assure you nothing but complete and continual coverage of the
A’s that you are used to seeing at MLB.com.

 

I’m beyond excited about this opportunity, and I hope you
join me on the ride by bookmarking this page and making yourself a regular
visitor both here and at the A’s official site. My first week proved plenty
busy, as I reported on the A’s efforts to avoid arbitration with Rajai Davis and newbie
Kevin Kouzmanoff, wrote about Eric Chavez’s new utility role, heard from Coco Crisp and several others at A’s Media Day,
and covered the surprising news of Oakland prospect Grant Desme’s choice to leave baseball and join
the Catholic priesthood. Furthermore, I’m certain Billy Beane isn’t quite done
wheeling and dealing this offseason, so you may be seeing (more) new faces on
the roster before the team and I head to Phoenix in three short weeks for
Spring Training.

 

Here, you can expect any and all news and analysis related
to the team, as well as some fun behind-the-scenes anecdotes and observations
seen on and off the field. Please feel free to leave comments, or e-mail me here. Don’t
forget to follow me on Twitter, either!

 

– Jane


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