Beane, A's have busy week ahead at Meetings
SAN DIEGO -- Heavy trade rumors have followed the A's to San Diego on Monday, as the annual Winter Meetings are officially underway.
The club has already swung one blockbuster this offseason with a player originally thought to be untouchable, All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was traded to Toronto the day after Thanksgiving for Brett Lawrie and three prospects -- a move signaling a significant roster makeover in Oakland.
Who's next to go? Who might be brought in? The Winter Meetings could provide the answer.
First baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss was traded to the Indians for infield prospect Joe Wendle on the first day of the Winter Meetings on Monday, and right-hander Jeff Samardzija is reportedly heading to the White Sox. John Jaso is also available in a potential trade.
And while the A's appear to be doing more giving than receiving this holiday season, they remain in need of a shortstop and could perhaps find one while sorting through deals for the aforementioned players.
Organizational depth also remains on general manager Billy Beane's wish list, particularly after the midseason trade of top prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney to the Cubs in the same deal that brought Samardzija to Oakland for three months.
It was a trade made specifically for the 2014 season, which ended in utter disappointment. The A's raced ahead of the pack to baseball's best record early in the year but fumbled down the stretch and finished 10 games behind the American League West champion Angels, landing in and losing the AL Wild Card Game.
It was a shocking series of events, especially when considering the work put in by Beane and Co. at this time last year ahead of the Winter Meetings. Beane had already inked Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million deal and traded for pitchers Jim Johnson, Luke Gregerson and Josh Lindblom, as well as outfielder Craig Gentry.
Then, at the Winter Meetings, Beane dealt away Brett Anderson and Jerry Blevins in separate trades. Among the return goods he received was lefty Drew Pomeranz and outfielder Billy Burns.
The blueprint for this offseason will be remarkably different. The A's are retooling, though to what extent remains to be seen. Each night during the Winter Meetings, Beane will meet with local reporters to provide updates. Manager Bob Melvin will also hold court with reporters early Monday at 5 p.m. PT.
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