The A's made a trade back in December that sent second baseman Jurickson Profar to the San Diego Padres. In return, Oakland acquired catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later, who wound up being Buddy Reed.
That didn't take care of the second base need, at least when it came to an everyday starter. The free-agent list at the position remains somewhat full, but the idea of Jason Kipnis is fascinating.
For starters, the man knows the AL well has he has spent the entirety of his career with the Cleveland Indians. In related news, it doesn't appear the Indians are willing to re-sign him.
In other related news, he's a left-handed hitter, which is one of the main things the A's are continuing to look for this offseason.
Let's get this part out of the way. His numbers are pretty "meh" when Kipnis is playing at the Coliseum in his career. In 22 games, he has a .218/.292./310 slash line without a home run, but he has quite a few good seasons sandwiched in there with those Oakland appearances. His .602 OPS at the Coliseum also isn't too sexy, but there are plenty of names on the A's to make up for that power.
As we know, Khris Davis is due for a comeback.
Kipnis' .245/.304/.410 slash line with 17 home runs in 121 games last season is far less than what the two-time All-Star is capable of.
In the past, he's been able to improve his power. He worked with his coaches a couple of seasons ago to perfect that power. That could be something he teaches himself again.
Perhaps he needs a change of scenery.
The why nots
Well, it's a money thing. Isn't it always?
The Indians didn't pick up Kipnis' $16.5 million option in October. The A's don't have a history of reaching deep into their pockets.
You do the math.
It wouldn't hurt to rent someone of his caliber for a season knowing there are plenty of young guys able to take over the position in the future. But is that really why these guys hit the free-agent market?
No. Especially for the first time in one's career -- and he's 32 years old.
Utility man Chad Pinder is the essence of "put him anywhere and let him do his thing." Franklin Barreto and Jorge Mateo also are options to fill in when needed, but Kipnis would be the everyday guy.
I didn't forget about the history of injuries Kip has dealt with. Those always are a factor, but the addition of him into that clubhouse full of personalities is interesting.