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Some very recognizable hitters remain on the free agent market, but don’t expect the A’s to be browsing at this point.
General manager Billy Beane said during Saturday’s FanFest that he doesn’t envision adding another hitter from outside the organization, nor does he see a pressing need for one.
“Anything we add at this point will be from a depth standpoint,” Beane said. “We’ve got a 25-man roster, and we’ve got a pretty good idea what it’s gonna be going in (to camp), subject to health. Everybody always says, 'Add a bat’, but we’ve been one of the top run-scoring teams in baseball for the last couple of years. That’s what we’re trying to do is score runs.”
Indeed, the A’s finished fourth in all of the majors last season in runs. They finished 14th in 2012 but led the majors in scoring after the All-Star break. Still, their bats looked overmatched at times last October in losing to Detroit in the American League Division Series for the second straight season.
But it appears they won’t go after players such as Nelson Cruz or Kendrys Morales, two of the more impactful hitters still unsigned.
The thought is that improved production from outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick, who both had down years offensively in 2013, will provide a boost.
Speaking of Reddick, he did not attend FanFest despite being on the initial list of confirmed players to show. Reddick remains the A’s only unsigned arbitration-eligible player. The team offered Reddick a $2 million salary and Reddick’s representation asked for $3.25 million. If the sides don’t compromise on a salary, they will go before an arbitration panel, which will pick one salary or the other (Reddick remains under team control regardless).
[RELATED: Cespedes guarantees playoffs for A's in 2014]
Beane was asked if Reddick’s absence Saturday was directly related to his arbitration case.
“I have no idea,” Beane said. “I know he’s a signed player. That’s why it’s not a big deal.”