The Winter Meetings are set to wind up Thursday, and the A's have been one of the least talked about teams during the last three days. In-fact, people were pushing for A's news so badly that one source even started a rumor that the A's would have interest in bringing Milton Bradley back to Oakland, which is not really in the realm of possibility.
They have been mentioned in a few rumors that might actually have some merit though. Those rumors involved Hideki Matsui and Kevin Kouzmanoff, but they're so far of from making a move of any kind, that Billy Beane isn't even sticking around for the last day of the meetings. Beane was set to fly back from Indianapolis, the site of the Meetings this year, back to Northern California Wednesday evening, so I wouldn't look for anything to happen on the A's front until after the Holidays, most likely. Apparently the A's could look into Hideki Matsui later on down the line if the price becomes right as they have interest in him becoming their new Jack Cust; part-time outfielder, full-time DH. Beane is also said to be looking at long-term solutions to third base, where things have been a mess since Eric Chavez's injury's started in 2007. Chavez is still trying to make a full comeback, but I don't think the A's are counting on it, and they could look to Kouzmanoff as a guy to hold that position for the foreseeable future.
The A's acquisition of Jake Fox and Aaron Miles may be their lone headline deal of the winter though, and I think Fox is in for a breakout year in 2010. I am expecting him to slide in at first base or in right field full time when the season starts, and I think he's going to hit right in the middle of the A's lineup. As far as other possible additions, I do expect them to make a play for Matsui, as he really fits perfectly in the mold of guys that Beane likes to fill the DH role; veteran with power and an excellent on-base percentage. Also, it hasn't been mentioned anywhere yet, but it wouldn't surprise me to see the A's give shortstop Orlando Cabrera a 1 year-deal again if he doesn't find any other suitor. The A's need a short-term fill-in at short to hold them over until Grant Green is ready, and Cabrera is still a solid option who can bring them something in return at the trade deadline.
NCAA Hoops Underway: The NCAA basketball season has begun, and although conference play hasn't started yet, the Cardinal and Bears are already 8 games into their schedule. We'll have our College Basketball picks and Cardinal and Bears Previews soon, so stay tuned for that!