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Inbox: Should A's reunite with Gio?

MLB.com @JaneMLB

The A's need to sign Gio Gonzalez. He can help mentor the young lefties coming up -- Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk. What do you think?
-- @The3rand

I think it would be a no-brainer if the price tag for the former A's lefty wasn't so (relatively) high. That seems to be the issue here -- the same goes for Edwin Jackson, who is seeking even less -- so I don't really see this happening. I do think he would be a nice short-term addition if the A's were able to swing it. Despite some questionable peripherals, Gonzalez has long enjoyed success in the big leagues and has proven so durable -- a quality that eludes the majority of Oakland's current rotation candidates.

The A's need to sign Gio Gonzalez. He can help mentor the young lefties coming up -- Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk. What do you think?
-- @The3rand

I think it would be a no-brainer if the price tag for the former A's lefty wasn't so (relatively) high. That seems to be the issue here -- the same goes for Edwin Jackson, who is seeking even less -- so I don't really see this happening. I do think he would be a nice short-term addition if the A's were able to swing it. Despite some questionable peripherals, Gonzalez has long enjoyed success in the big leagues and has proven so durable -- a quality that eludes the majority of Oakland's current rotation candidates.

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Is Daniel Mengden considered a lock for the Opening Day rotation? Seemed like the A's weren't quite sold on him last year.
-- @micdog2001

Only Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada are considered locks for the A's rotation, but I would expect Mengden to be among the last men standing when camp breaks. He certainly stands out among the remaining in-house options, so one of the open spots is seemingly his for the taking barring injury or a disastrous spring. Mengden, purely dominant at times, has been the A's best pitcher over stretches, but he's lacked consistency and could find just that this year. You could kind of sense him coming into his own last season, so I hope the A's let him take his turn every fifth day -- without an opener in front of him -- and let his confidence take over completely.

Video: OAK@BAL: Mengden hurls 5 hitless in relief effort

We've gotten a lot of positive updates on a number of rehabbing A's pitchers, with Puk and Sean Manaea ahead of schedule, and James Kaprielian and Grant Holmes ready to enter camp healthy. But I haven't heard any updates on Daulton Jefferies. Any word?
-- @Hecubot99

Jefferies is finally healthy, and the A's can only hope he avoids another setback this spring. The road back from Tommy John surgery hasn't been easy for Jefferies, but he's still just 23 and the A's have high hopes for his dynamic right arm.

Are the A's looking at free agent Clay Buchholz at all? He looks like the type of pitcher the A's have had success taking a chance on.
-- Dana B., Oakland

You're right, he does. The A's did consider him at one point, but much in the same way they've considered dozens of starting options. It sounds like they did their homework on him and ultimately decided that this oft-injured pitcher is simply too oft-injured. The A's already have enough health concerns within their staff.

Video: Buchholz enters free agency after comeback campaign

When can we expect Bryce Harper to sign with the A's?
-- @TheRealSmeagol

Just checked his age, did some math, and I now have an answer for you: 2031. Harper will be 38, fresh off his second monster contract, and seeking a home as a full-time DH before he turns in his retirement papers.

Do you have any restaurant recommendations for Spring Training newbies? Heard you talking about food in Arizona on your podcast.
-- Aaron N., Columbus, Ohio

I do love food, and there are just too many restaurant recommendations for Arizona, but I'll do my best to give you some variety here. Barrio Cafe and Los Dos Molinos for Mexican, Tratto for Italian, Glai Baan for Thai, Pizzeria Bianco for pizza, Worth for sandwiches, Richardson's for New Mexican cuisine and Matt's Big Breakfast for breakfast. Also a fan of Restaurant Progress, Ocotillo, Tuck Shop and Culinary Dropout for traditional/contemporary American.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

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