The A's made their first move towards officially rebuilding their roster on Friday. They gave long-time fan favorite Jason Giambi his unconditional release, ending the first basemen/DH's second go round in Oakland.
The releasing of Giambi was a move that made too much since for Billy Beane not to do. The A's have a long way to go to get themselves back to a respectable level in the AL West, and they may as well start their roster overhaul asap rather then waiting for the winter. Giambi was hitting just .193 with 11 homers and 40 RBI in 239 at-bats. His .193 average is the lowest average amongst regulars in all of baseball, and because of that his OPS was a measly .697 at the time of his release. Giambi really was hurting the offense more than he was helping, so this move shouldn't come to a surprise to many. Filling in for Giambi at first for the time being is long-time minor leaguer Tommy Everidge. The former Sonoma State star was drafted by the A's in the 10th round of the 2004 draft and hadn't yet made his big league debut until just a couple of weeks ago. I think the A's plan was to hopefully let Daric Barton take the reigns this year, but he's been injured and/or ineffective throughout the year, so it's going to be interesting to see what transpires at that spot for Oakland over the last 7 weeks of the year.
Right now, it looks like Everidge could be the guy to man first base for the A's in the foreseeable future. He absolutely tore up the minor leagues this season before his call-up. Combined between AA Midland and AAA Sacramento, Everidge hit .338 with 17 home runs, 85 RBI and 33 doubles. He really turned it on when he was moved from AA to AAA though. In just 173 at-bats for the River Cats, Everidge hit .382 with 9 bombs and 32 RBI. Last year in a full season in Midland, he hit 22 home runs with 115 RBI, so he's definitely a proven run producer in the minors. After Everidge, the next guy in line could be the A's top-10 prospect, Chris Carter. The 22 year-old powerful first basemen is tearing up the Texas League this year, and his play this year may place him atop the A's positional prospects heading into 2010. Carter's hitting .333 with 19 home runs, 86 RBI and 12 steals in 110 games (also had 39 homers in A in 2008). He's got a rare combination of speed and power which doesn't come often in the form of corner infielders, and this year he's really starting to realize that potential. That speed especially is a bonus. I'm looking forward to September 1st to see if Beane decides to let the kid get his feet wet up here and see if he's indeed ready to start manning first base at the big league level!