The MLB Winter Meetings, along with everything else this year, is different. The typical congregation in the hotel lobby has been replaced by a Zoom link and backgrounds of our homes.
A’s general manager David Forst told reporters Wednesday that “this is a weird one,” but the goals remain the same. With switch-hitting outfielder Robbie Grossman hitting free agency, Forst said the team has had “internal conversations” about adding left-handed outfield bat.
Outside of the free-agent market, the A's have some internal candidates as well.
Forst mentioned Luis Barrera, a 2012 international signee, who showed off some speed and power this winter in the Dominican Winter League. The lefty has shown he’s aggressive at the plate.
“Luis is very close to being ready for a chance,” Forst said.
Seth Brown also has some major league experience and Forst mentioned him as a possibility as well, along with Skye Bolt.
Bolt played in just five games with the A’s in 2019, but had 82 hits and 11 home runs with Triple-A Vegas in 2019.
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The fast, switch-hitting Buddy Reed, whom the A’s acquired via trade from the San Diego Padres last December, could create for an interesting possibility as well. But there’s a chance he could be taken in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.
He had a pretty solid season in 2019 with the Padres’ Double-A affiliate with 50 RBI and 23 stolen bases.
The Rule 5 Draft is another opportunity for the A's to find a potential hidden gem. But given the uncertainty around the 2021 season and the lack of minor leagues in 2020, it's unclear what that might mean for their plans.
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Given big outfield names in the free agency pool, there isn't a ton to choose from that fit the mold of the A's. So if the team sticks to the young players they already have, at least Forst is confident there still is productivity from within.