Red Sox

Plouffe may yet plug Red Sox' hole at third base

Plouffe may yet plug Red Sox' hole at third base

OAKLAND -- A's third baseman Trevor Plouffe said Saturday that the Red Sox were a finalist for him this offseason, when he signed a one-year, $5.25 million deal with the A's as a first-time free agent.

What brought Plouffe to Oakland was an opportunity the Sox just couldn't offer -- playing time at third base. Not initially, anyway, considering they had high hopes for Pablo Sandoval. Or at least some hopes.

"I wanted to play third base and [the A's] came and right away and expressed their interest in that, and to me it was kind of a no-brainer," Plouffe said . "I was going to come here and get a chance to start at third. Kind of after last year, not being able to play a ton of games, prove that I can stay healthy again -- that was kind of the real selling point for me."

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski publicly noted in the winter the difficulty the Sox had at times luring veterans because of a lack of playing time available.

"I mean, we had good conversations with [the Sox] and they were one of the last couple teams that we were talking to," Plouffe said. "Ultimately, I think there was opportunity in Boston, but I think the opportunity here was just greater. Where I'm at in my career, I needed to have a place to come play."

A knee injury to Sandoval later, Plouffe could have had it with the Red Sox. First base might have been an option for playing time too, occasionally, in Boston, but his preference is third base.

Plouffe entered Saturday hitting .252 with six home runs. Since May 7, he's hitting .405 with a .450 on-base percentage, .676 slugging percentage and a pair of home runs.

Who knows? Maybe the Sox and Plouffe wind up a pair later this season.

The A's, who were in last place in the American League West entering Saturday, have no qualms about dealing away players -- particularly those on one-year deals.

"Of course. You can't be naive about that fact," Plouffe said when asked if he arrived in Oakland knowing he could be dealt. "But you know, what I'm really thinking is, we come here and win. Then we add and we don't subtract. [In spring training] I saw the guys we had and the young starting pitching that we have, and it really excited me.

"The bullpen has been injured, I think when we need 'em they're going to be there. That was my thinking. I want to come here and add, not come here and subtract. Obviously I was aware of the history."

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