Oakland Still Making Moves

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2009

The Oakland Athletics are still reaching out to multiple veteran free agents, even with Spring Training underway. The players that are still being pursued include Nomar Garciaparra, Orlando Cabrera and Dennys Reyes. All could provide valuable depth and at a somewhat affordable price. Let’s look at the players involved and their chances at being signed before Opening Day.

Orlando Cabrera – Cabrera may be the biggest long shot of the group. The knock on Orlando is his asking price, he’s currently looking for a deal around $9 million. Cabrera’s chance of landing a deal that large with the Athletics is very slim as we all know the penny pinching ways of Athletics General Manager Billy Beane. Beane is only willing to offer $5 million. So what would usually happen here? A team would offer a little less money but then make the contract full of incentives. Could that happen here? Highly unlikely. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Beane is unwilling to offer a deal like that. I can’t blame him one bit, especially with no apparent suitor involved. The only leverage that Cabrera had was that the Los Angeles Dodgers were interested but once they signed Orlando Hudson that ended.

Nomar Garciaparra – The teams interest in Nomah is very high, as they feel he could serve as their backup third and first baseman. Nomar is going to come cheap as he isn’t even sure if he wants to continue playing baseball. If he decides to play in 2009 its because he feel he can be an asset to a contender, not because of the money. With that being said the Athletics have some competition and that is the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer has an article today saying the Phillies don’t like their chances. The Phillies are the Wold Champs, how can they not like their chances? Easy, playing time. Nomar only wants to come back if he can contribute. Nomar will get a greater chance at playing time in Oakland, even with the Phillies likely to start the season without Pedro Feliz

Dennys Reyes – Out of all three players, Reyes has the greatest chance of signing, and the SF Chronicle says it “could come together quickly.” The team is even scheduled to have more talks with the player today. The lefty has drawn minimal interest this year even after posting a 2.33 era in 46 plus innings. The fore mentioned Phillies are the A’s competition again as the team looks to replace J.C. Romero will miss the first 50 games of the season. If Oakland lands this lefty he should be a very big asset for an already talented and deep bullpen.

If Oakland happens to land all three players it should give the team quite a bit of veteran depth, something they definitely need. They’ve had the young talent for a couple of seasons but surrounding them with these guys, Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday should only help in the dog days of summer when the team fights for an American League Wild Card berth. The way Beane is going about signing these older vets that no one wants and at his price reminds me a lot of a certain football team in New England. It seems as if his money ball strategy is starting to get a Bill Belichek influence to it.

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