A's expect Meetings to accelerate offseason

With Ohtani, Stanton dominoes falling, Forst thinks 'things will get moving'

December 10th, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The A's will take their wish list to Walt Disney World this week, hoping to further their offseason doings within the frenzied confines of the Winter Meetings.

For weeks, the club's brain trust has openly expressed its desire to acquire a right-handed-hitting outfielder and its willingness to do so through trade or free agency -- a process that could seemingly accelerate in the coming days.

The annual Winter Meetings are set to begin Monday morning and run through Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, a four-day gathering that brings baseball operations executives from each team and a slew of agents together in the same setting.

Typically, moves follow.

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"I can't tell you we're going to walk out of the [Walt Disney World] Swan and Dolphin [Hotel] with an outfielder," A's general manager David Forst said last week, "but it's something that we're still continuing to look into."

The process has likely been eased by moves elsewhere; the belief was that the market was at a standstill until Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani came off the board and Marlins superstar was dealt. On Friday, Ohtani selected the Angels. One day later, sources reported the Yankees and Marlins agreed to a deal for Stanton.

"We've all seen in general a slow offseason in both free agency and trades because of some of the outstanding issues that are out there," Forst said. "But we've seen some signings trickle in the last couple days, and I think people are looking toward the Meetings as a time when things will get moving. So hopefully some of those conversations we've had and the groundwork we've laid will pay off when we get to [Lake Buena Vista]."

Forst and Co. struck first in November, sending corner infielder to Seattle in a trade for right-handed reliever . The bullpen got another boost only days ago, with the A's reeling in veteran right-hander on a two-year deal. A lefty relief arm remains on their to-do list.

"You never know if something's going to actually happen while you're at the Meetings," Forst said. "Obviously we've been working since October on a number of things, and we have conversations that are active."

There will be action elsewhere in and around the Meetings, with A's manager Bob Melvin scheduled to address the media at 11 a.m. PT on Tuesday. Coverage of Melvin's session, along with daily thoughts from Forst and executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, will appear on athletics.com throughout the week. Readers are invited to use the comments section of each story to sound off with opinions and questions.