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Coghlan looks forward to do-it-all role with A's

'I don't want to be boxed in,' he says after trade from Cubs
MLB.com @JaneMLB

MESA, Ariz. -- Chris Coghlan claims one position is of no priority, and he fully embraces the kind of multifaceted role former Athletic Ben Zobrist is making popular.

Coghlan and Zobrist were Cubs teammates for only a few days this week, before Coghlan was pulled off the field Thursday morning and informed of his trade to the A's.

MESA, Ariz. -- Chris Coghlan claims one position is of no priority, and he fully embraces the kind of multifaceted role former Athletic Ben Zobrist is making popular.

Coghlan and Zobrist were Cubs teammates for only a few days this week, before Coghlan was pulled off the field Thursday morning and informed of his trade to the A's.

"I was like, 'This ain't good,'" Coghlan said Friday, smiling. "I've only ever had this happen once, and things didn't turn out well. But this is better than that. I got sent down that year. So this is a lot better."

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The do-it-all Zobrist, who spent three months with the A's last season, texted Coghlan almost immediately and promised him a full scouting report on Oakland.

"Being with Zo finally, I was always like, that was the dude I tried to model my game after, because I saw that he helped the team in so many ways to be able to stay in the lineup and not be pinned down to one position," Coghlan said. "So it was cool to be able to play with him for about two days and come over here, and I hope to fill that role."

He didn't have to travel far to his new home -- "Unbelievable, he was here like 10 minutes after the trade it seemed like," A's manager Bob Melvin said -- and arrived just in time for the club's first full-squad workout Friday.

"He's an eager guy, a gamer-type of guy, and certainly his versatility is valued by the Oakland A's," Melvin said.

"It's a whirlwind of emotions," Coghlan said. "It's bitter because you love the guys over there, and you're like, 'Man, we've got a really good bunch,' and then you get to come over here, which is sweet because the team wants you. I love kind of the culture that this organization has created, and just a great opportunity to establish new relationships and compete to win the division and the World Series."

Coghlan, 30, takes great pride in his ability to play all over, especially having recognized the impact it can have on a club. Zobrist, of course, is the poster boy for this part, cashing in this offseason on a four-year, $56 million deal with the Cubs.

Soon, it will be Coghlan's turn to test out the open market. He'll be a free agent at season's end.

"Zo set the bar," he said. "There were people before Zo, but Zo made it sexy and cool, so I give him props for that.

"I've always been like, I don't need a role. I don't want to be boxed in, anyways. My job is to come prepared to play and to compete every single night, help the team win … This industry only knows one thing, production. It has no feelings, it has no emotions. You produce, you play. It's as simple as that. So I plan on producing, hopefully staying healthy and help this team win."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Chris Coghlan