SAN DIEGO –- After making waves with morning trades on the first two days of the winter meetings, the A’s turned the spotlight over to other teams Wednesday.
How long they remain quiet is the great unknown.
You can bet Oakland isn’t done re-tooling the roster even after trading away third baseman Josh Donaldson, first baseman Brandon Moss and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
In fact, the A’s may still have a move up their sleeve before the meetings wrap up Thursday, general manager Billy Beane said. But it won’t rock the boat like the deals that shipped off the above-mentioned All-Stars.
When the meetings opened at the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel, it was clear the A’s would be going the trade route with their transactions. Now that they’ve gotten some of that heavy lifting out of the way, their next course of action is tougher to predict.
Could they target the free agent market for a second baseman or perhaps a back-end starting rotation option? Do they explore the pool of international free agents? Beane didn’t discount the latter option at some point.
“Possibly,” he said of going the international route. “There’s nothing specific right now, but that’s always a possibility.”
There’s also the chance that they could swing a trade to acquire an impact player, with catcher John Jaso a potential bargaining chip.
One option the A’s apparently won’t consider is signing free agent Stephen Drew. The A’s traded for the shortstop in August 2012 and he spent the remainder of that season in green and gold. He’s still considered a solid defender, but after a miserable season offensively in 2014, the 31-year-old Drew could probably be had on a reasonable one-year deal in the hope he bounces back with the bat.
His agent, Scott Boras, said Drew is open to signing with a team to play second base, but from all indications, Drew isn’t on the A’s shopping list.
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An outside-the-box idea could see Beane bringing in a third baseman and shifting Brett Lawrie to second, where he played 32 games last year and is a good defender. Beane raved about Lawrie’s versatility Wednesday.
“That’s one of the areas we knew we could be flexible, because of Brett’s ability,” he said. “Right now he’s our third baseman. But it gives us a lot of flexibility, if, in fact (a player) at one or the other position that we like became available.”
Chase Headley is the best free agent third baseman currently on the market, but there’s been nothing linking him to the A’s at this point.
As for the smaller scale move that might go down before the winter meetings wrap, Beane didn’t deny that someone from the major league club could be traded to open up a 40-man roster spot. If the A’s want to take someone in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft –- where they have access to minor leaguers from other teams -– they’ll need to clear a 40-man spot.