The Oakland A’s are being very aggressive this offseason, and GM Billy Beane seems determined to find all the right pieces to make Oakland once again a serious playoff contender. The A’s have already added OF David DeJesus, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, and have won the negotiating rights to Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. The A’s also traded speedy OF Rajai Davis on Wednesday to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a pair of minor-league pitchers.
The A’s still have yet to address their need for power, but there are rumors currently swirling around Oakland. It has been rumored that the A’s have offered free-agent 3B Adrian Beltre a five-year deal worth a whopping $64 million. The rumor is alarming, considering that the A’s are known throughout the league as a ‘penny-pinching’ team. It would certainly contradict A’s owner Lew Wolff’s statement about the A’s financial flexibility over the next few years if the team does in fact, lure Beltre to Oakland.
This past season, Beltre had a very monstrous year hitting .321/.365/.553 with 28 home runs and 102 RBIs for the Red Sox. Last offseason the A’s tried to sign Beltre, but he opted to play for the Red Sox. Beltre declined his option for the 2011 season with Boston, and it is rumored that Boston GM Theo Epstein is not willing to go past a four-year deal. Beltre’s agent, Scott Boras, has been pushing for long-term security for his client, and the A’s seem to have offered that with their five-year, $64 million pitch.
The A’s currently have 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff and Encarnacion, but both are arbitration-eligible options for third base. Kouzmanoff, 29, is coming off a year where he hit .249/.283/.396 with a team-leading 16 home runs and 71 RBIs. It was Kouzmanoff’s first season in the American League, so that could be a reason why he had a difficult time at the plate this season. However, Oakland would probably like a little more production from the hot-corner, and Beltre could provide some needed punch. There are also rumors swirling around that the Colorado Rockies might be interested in Kouzmanoff.
It should be noted that the A’s have not come out and declined the Beltre offer, as reported by the SFChronicle.
Another potential rumor mill topic is the whole OF Justin Upton debacle. As reported on FOXSports.com, the Arizona Diamondbacks say around 15 teams have shown interest in their young star, who is signed through the 2015 season. Upton, 23, hit .273/.356/.442 with 17 home runs and 69 RBIs this season for Arizona. He’s a young, and inexpensive; sounds like a perfect match for the A’s, right?
Well, maybe or maybe not. The Diamondbacks are looking for a deal in which they will clearly come out as the ‘winners.’ They are reportedly looking for four top prospects in exchange for Upton, and that is a very high asking price. FOXSports columnists Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi seem to suggest that the A’s are one of the potential suitors for Upton. The A’s do have a stock-pile of young starters, but are they willing to part with their young arms?
This offseason is shaping up to be a very exciting one to watch. Stay tuned for any further developments, and be sure to keep your eyes on the A’s HotStove, ’cause it’s burning!
Tags: 2011 A's A's Rumors Adrian Beltre Adrian Beltre A's Arizona Arizona Diamondbacks Boston Red Sox Colorado Rockies Rumors David DeJesus Diamondbacks Rumors Edwin Encarnacion Hisashi Iwakuma Justin Upton Justin Upton Rumors Kevin Kouzmanoff MLB Rumors MLB Rumors 2011 MLB Trade Rumors MLB Trades Oakland A's Oakland A's Blog Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics Rumors Offseason Rumors Promotions Rajai Davis Red Sox Rumors Toronto Blue Jays Upton Rumors