Thursday, December 16, 2010

While Major League Baseball Procrastinates, the Athletics Take Care of Business

The Winter Meetings might have come and gone with still no decision from Major League Baseball on territorial rights, but the business of baseball goes on (along with the agony of San Jose baseball fans) for the Athletics who made two significant additions to their roster this week.

The first was Hideki Matsui, the former New York Yankee and Los Angeles Angel who is expected to be the Athletics designated hitter. The second is former Athletic and fan favorite Rich Harden who could help bolster the bullpen or fill in as the fifth starter.

The A’s also made a trade in early November with the Kansas City Royals for outfielder David DeJesus. In addition the Athletics continue to aggressively pursue Adrian Beltre who they hope can fill their need at third base.

It no doubt has been very difficult for the A’s to make significant additions to their roster over the years given the Coliseum’s reputation for not being a hitter friendly ballpark. However, despite this and contrary to rumblings amongst some fans, the A’s continue to try and build a team that can compete with their rivals in the American League West.

On Tuesday, San Jose Mercury News Columnist Monte Poole wrote about how the A’s are becoming relevant again with their offseason additions. In the article he talks with General Manager Billy Beane who says:

"One of the benefits of having a young team and paring back the last few years is that you'll get to a point where you'll have major league players at low cost and you'll have some flexibility, which is where we're at this year," Beane said. "Is it relative to everybody else, to some of the deals that are out there? No. But for us, it's a little more unique.

“So we have been able to be a little more aggressive. And we still have some of the offseason, so we'll see where it goes. We plan on trying to be aggressive."

So it seems despite one of the lowest payrolls in Major League Baseball and the challenge of exciting fans in the Bay Area who are enamored by the Giants World Series victory, the Athletics will continue the work of assembling a competitive team of their own. Even if they aren’t yet playing in San Jose, we here at Baseball San Jose are excited at the team being assembled for the 2011 season.

Keep up the good work Athletics, and we hope to see you soon throwing your first pitch in San Jose.

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