Athletics

Athletics

LAS VEGAS -- Some teams will treat the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings like a Netflix viewer binge-watching their favorite show. It's set to be a three-day barrage of nonstop trades and free-agent signings without a second thought.

That's not the A's style.

"We never come here with a goal of actually getting something done," general manager David Forst explained Monday. "If it happens, great. ... But you don't ever make it your goal to actually do something."

Oakland certainly has some holes to fill on next year's roster, but Forst knows there's still plenty of time after this week.

"We have sort of targeted conversations, free agents and trades, and kind of go at our own pace," Forst said. "I don't know that any external forces are going to change that."

Forst did admit some sense of urgency when it comes to adding starting pitching. NBC Sports California reported the A's have shown interest in right-handers Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill, Clay Buchholz and Shelby Miller, while other free agents or trade targets also could be in play.

"We need to add to our depth for sure," Forst said. "We're exploring every avenue, whether it's trade or free agency, and I think that applies to one-year deals and multiyear deals. We're looking for guys who fit from a timeframe standpoint as well as our dollars and payroll."

 

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Forst also acknowledged needing to add a catcher, though he would not hint at whether that would be last year's starter, Jonathan Lucroy, or someone else.

"We're going to add someone," he confirmed. "We're looking around. Jonathan did a great job for us, but I wouldn't comment on anyone individually as far as chances of being here next season."

Oakland also could be in the market for a second baseman. All-Star Jed Lowrie still is a possibility to return, but the A's have shown interest in free agent DJ LeMahieu, according to an industry source. Another option would be to give the everyday job to 22-year-old Franklin Barreto, who has hit well in winter ball in Venezuela.

"He's having a really nice winter," Forst said. "His strikeout ratio has improved. So we're keeping tabs on that. As it pertains to second base, there are some options that revolve around Franklin. I don't think we have those answers yet."

Forst noted that even if the A's were to sign another second baseman, they still could keep Barreto, possibly at another position.

"He's played the outfield this winter down in Venezuela. That's always been part of the conversation with Franklin. We've stayed away from playing him in the outfield because second base and shortstop are his primary spots. But there's always a chance to pivot from that."

So with the first full day of the Winter Meetings in the books, the A's are sticking to their plan. But more importantly, they're sticking to their pace.