With the A’s officially out of the running to land 3B Adrian Beltre (Beltre signed with Texas), the team will likely rely on incumbent 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff to man the hot-corner in 2011. The A’s were aggressive from the start with Beltre, reportedly offering him a five-year deal worth more than $60 million, but the team fell short, as Texas offered him six-years and $96 million.
The A’s have made other additions so far this offseason, and while they missed out on some bigger names this offseason, the team appears confident heading into the 2011 campaign. The A’s have brought in outfielders David DeJesus, and Josh Willingham, DH Hideki Matsui, and have added to their pitching by acquiring Rich Harden and Brandon McCarthy. Adding Beltre, who hit .321 with 28 HR and 102 RBIs in 2010, would have been nice too, but that’s okay.
Kouzmanoff will just have to do for now.
The A’s are banking on Kouzmanoff to have a solid 2011 campaign, after having a rather inconsistent one in 2010. In 551 plate-appearances (143 games), Kouzmanoff hit .247/.283/.396 while leading the team in both home runs (16) and RBIs (71). Kouzmanoff’s 2010 numbers were all down across the board from his 2009 numbers. In 2009, Kouzmanoff hit .255/.302/.420 with 18 HR and 88 RBIs.
2010 didn’t end well for Kouzmanoff, who battled through a back-injury and hit just .157/.204/.353 in 51-plate appearances for the month of September. For the most part, Kouzmanoff was very inconsistent in his first season with the A’s (1st season in the AL as well), and had some trouble on defense as well. He committed 12 errors (.968 FPCT) after making just three the season before.
Since the A’s acquired Matsui, DeJesus, and Willingham, however, Kouzmanoff should be hitting out of the sixth-spot in Oakland’s lineup this season. Hitting lower in the order should take some pressure off of Kouzmanoff in 2011. The A’s offense is upgraded, but Kouzmanoff will still have to find a way to produce and stay consistent on offense this season. If not, the team could look for help elsewhere. In fact, the team could still add another bat this offseason…
Tags: 2011 MLB Season A's A's 2011 A's Baseball A's Infield A's Starting Pitching Adrian Beltre Brandon McCarthy David DeJesus Hideki Matsui Kevin Kouzmanoff Kouzmanoff Oakland A's Promotions Rich Harden