OAKLAND -- The A's are dreaming up a roster that allows Khris Davis to occupy the designated hitter slot on a near-everyday basis, creating the need for a right-handed bat who can handle left-field duties in his stead.Though bullpen help stands as the team's primary focus, the A's are diligently
OAKLAND -- The A's are dreaming up a roster that allows Khris Davis to occupy the designated hitter slot on a near-everyday basis, creating the need for a right-handed bat who can handle left-field duties in his stead.
Though bullpen help stands as the team's primary focus, the A's are diligently eyeing outfield options -- specifically, right-handed batters to complement their left-handed mix. Matt Joyce is penciled in to play right field for the A's, with Dustin Fowler, Chad Pinder, Boog Powell and Mark Canha all candidates to play center.
"We're trying to even it out, so it's something we'd like to get done," A's general manager David Forst said from the GM Meetings in Orlando, Fla., this week.
"In so far as it helps Khris DH more often, it's something we feel like we would like to accomplish."
Davis' powerful bat is one of the A's strongest features, but his defense -- notably his throwing arm -- is subpar, a shortcoming that has the team positioned to make an upgrade. To that end, expect the A's to reach out to teams willing to facilitate a trade involving a young, right-handed-hitting outfielder.
Per San Francisco Chronicle reports, the A's have shown interest in Miami's Marcell Ozuna and Avisail Garcia of the White Sox, both of whom are under control through 2019. Ozuna would command a hefty return, however, making Garcia the more sensible choice.
The 26-year-old was a first-time All-Star this year, hitting .330 with 18 home runs and 80 RBIs in 136 games. The rebuilding White Sox are looking to shed parts and could use Garcia as a means to enhancing their core, should they decide he doesn't fit their long-term plan. He has mostly played right field for Chicago but can play left.
• Rogers: Garcia an attractive piece for multiple clubs
Others who could potentially fit the bill for the A's include:
Stephen Piscotty, Cardinals: The Cardinals have a glut of young outfielders, and the expectation is that a few of them will be traded this offseason. Piscotty, who is from the Bay Area, is a name worth tracking. The 26-year-old is signed through 2022 for $33.5 million, with a team option for 2023. He has played right field for the Cardinals but could transition to left.
Adam Duvall, Reds: Duvall may be just past his peak, having recently turned 29, but the power is there, and he brings plus defense in left field. Moreover, he's under club control through 2021. Duvall was an All-Star in 2016 and has clubbed 30-plus homers in each of the past two seasons.
Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers: The Tigers, believed to be years from contending, would seemingly listen on Castellanos, who moved from third base to right field in September but played left in the Minors. The 25-year-old hit .272 with 26 homers in 2017 and will be a free agent in two years.
Michael Mahtook, Tigers: Mahtook, 27, could be an alternate option when dealing with Detroit. He has performed well in the Majors and can hit for power, holding his own in the field as an average defender.
Clint Frazier, Yankees: Frazier is blocked at the big league level next season, making him expendable. He had a 39-game cameo in the Majors this year, clubbing four home runs and finishing with a .252 average. Along with a strong bat, he's considered to be a real asset in the outfield.
Ryan Rua, Rangers: Rua isn't a sexy option, and he likely wouldn't be near the top of the A's wish list, but he's serviceable if they find themselves desperate in their pursuit. He's arbitration-eligible for the first time and out of options, and has a track record of hitting lefties well.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB and listen to her podcast.