LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The A's got their guy just in time, landing outfielder Stephen Piscotty from St. Louis in a deal that was made official minutes before their scheduled departure home from the Winter Meetings.In acquiring Piscotty, a deal that saw them give up Minor League infielders Yairo
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The A's got their guy just in time, landing outfielder Stephen Piscotty from St. Louis in a deal that was made official minutes before their scheduled departure home from the Winter Meetings.
In acquiring Piscotty, a deal that saw them give up Minor League infielders Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock, the A's crossed off the biggest item on their to-do list this offseason.
Piscotty, who fills the A's need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder, had been on their radar for months. That the A's were able to seal the deal this week leaves them in good shape as the calendar year comes to a close.
Earlier this offseason, the A's added right-handed relievers Emilio Pagan and Yusmeiro Petit, bolstering a bullpen that proved to be one of their weakest links last season. A strengthened pitching staff complemented by a potent lineup has the A's positioned to improve upon their 75-win, last-place division finish, with a youth movement speeding along.
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With Piscotty in tow, the A's will shift their focus to the lefty-reliever market. They've been keeping tabs on both trade and free-agent options; the latter group includes Tony Watson, Boone Logan, Francisco Liriano, Brian Duensing, Jorge De La Rosa, Zach Duke and ex-Athletic Fernando Abad.
"We've had a lot of conversations," general manager David Forst said this week. "You're seeing slowly but surely relievers come off the board, so things are happening. We've spent a good amount of time on that as well."
The bullpen will be in good shape once the A's make their move, leaving them with little to do before Spring Training. A veteran starter could still be had, but the A's maintain it's not a priority given their abundance of depth.
The A's lost right-hander Brett Graves to the Marlins in Round 2 of the Major League phase of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said he expects Graves to compete for a rotation spot. He was a third-round pick of the A's out of Missouri in 2014, going 23-21 with a 5.00 ERA in four Minor League seasons in Oakland's organization.
In the Minor League portion of the Draft, the A's selected infielder Brallan Perez (Orioles), left-hander Carlos Diaz (Marlins) and right-hander Jaimito Lebron (Padres).
GM's bottom line
"This has sort of been our narrative all offseason, that we do have position players that you can build around, where we didn't in recent years." -- Forst
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB and listen to her podcast.