Continuing with what has been the most active A's offseason in recent years, the A's made a few more additions to their squad over the weekend, signing outfielder Gabe Gross and reliever Michael Wuertz and trading for infielder Adam Rosales and Willy Taveras.
The A's quickly designated Taveras for assignment though, as they now sort of have a logjam in their outfield. That's what makes the signing of Gross a little puzzling, but apparently the A's have him penciled in as their 4th outfielder. Adam Rosales should figure heavily into the utility-player mix once spring starts as he could be the favorite for that role. I'm a little surprised by the Taveras DFA though. He did struggle last year, but is just 2 seasons removed from a .320 avg, 33 stolen base season with Cincinnati, and could give the A's another speedy option off the bench. The A's are pretty stocked with light-hitting outfielders though and I guess they didn't see a spot for Taveras, but you'd think they could have probably gotten something for him. The Giants are a team that could certianly use an experienced leadoff man with speed like Taveras', and they may be in line to offer him a spring training invite. The A's do have Rajai Davis and Coco Crisp already on their center field depth chart, so it doesn't look like there were going to be a ton of at-bats for Taveras if he had stayed on the roster though anyway. Gross though, will bring an element that none of the other Oakland outfielders posses (unless Jake Fox start in right field rather than first base) in that he's got some pop. The left-handed right-fielder has hit 19 homers in 590 at-bats over the last 2 seasons, and as most Billy Beane acquisitions, he's a guy that will take a walk and can make a pitcher work. All Adam Rosales cost the A's was Aaron Miles, in what could end up being another steal by Beane. Rosales is a 26 year-old player with upside, albeit marginal upside, and the A's just had to part with 33 year-old Aaron Miles, who will struggle to stay on a major league roster.
The A's also agreed to re-sign reliever Micheal Wuertz to a 2-year, $5.5 million deal. Wuertz threw very well for Oakland last year after coming over from the Cubs, carrying an era of 2.63, a WHIP of 0.95 and a 4:1-K:BB ratio in route to striking out 102 batters in just 78 innings of work. Outside of Andrew Bailey, he was Oakland's most consistent reliever. Very rarely do we see Billy Beane shell out multi-year deals to veteran mid-relievers, but Wuertz has a solid track record and I think this is going to end up being another good move for Oakland. Depending on how Joey Devine's health is coming into spring, Wuertz could end up as the A's primary set-up man for Bailey, but if Devine is ready to go in Spring, he'll probably get that spot. The A's bully looks like it's pretty much finished as they will likely carry these 7: RHP Andrew Bailey, RHP Michael Wuertz, RHP Brad Zieglar, RHP Joey Devine, LHP Josh Outman, LHP Gio Gonzalez (long reliever), LHP Brad Kilby.
Super Bowl Preview: With the A's staying so busy recently, we haven't had a chance to get into the NFL playoffs much yet, but in our next post, we'll break down this Sunday's Super Bowl match-up between the high-powered offenses, New Orleans and Indianapolis, so stay tuned for that, it should be up Wednesday or Thursday!!!