12/1: Signed 1B/OF Brandon Moss to minor-league deal.
Entering the 2012 season, Moss had a .236 BA, 15 HR, 78 RBI career line over 678 at-bats spanning five seasons for three different teams. The A's called him up on June 6 and he quickly played his way into the everyday first-base job, finishing the season with a .291 BA, 21 HR, 52 RBI line in just 82 games.
12/9: Acquired SP Jarrod Parker, RP Ryan Cook and OF Collin Cowgill from Arizona for SP Trevor Cahill and RP Craig Breslow.
The decision to trade Cahill was not well received, but he ended up netting the A's a terrific haul of players. Parker was the clear prize of the deal, and he went 13-8 with a 3.47 ERA while emerging as the ace of the A's staff. Cook, meanwhile, made the All-Star team as he had a 2.09 ERA and 14 saves over 71 appearances.
12/23: Acquired SP Tom Milone, SP Brad Peacock, SP A.J. Cole and C Derek Norris from Washington for SP Gio Gonzalez and SP Robert Gilliam.
Another trade that was tough to swallow for the Oakland fanbase at the time, Gonzalez put together a Cy Young caliber season in Washington, but the A's got their money's worth for him.
Milone went 13-10 with a 3.74 ERA over a team-high 31 starts. Peacock and Cole both have very bright futures and Norris stepped in as the everyday catcher after Kurt Suzuki was traded and figures to fill that role for the foreseeable future.
12/28: Acquired RF Josh Reddick, 1B Miles Head and P Raul Alcantara from Boston for RP Andrew Bailey and OF Ryan Sweeney.
It appeared the A's were asking a lot when the acquired Reddick and slotted him in the middle of the team's lineup, but he responded with a .242 BA, 32 HR, 85 RBI line and a Gold Glove to boot. Head hit .333 BA, 23 HR, 84 RBI as a 21-year-old between High Single-A and Double-A as he too looks to have a bright future.
1/5: Re-Signed CF Coco Crisp to a two-year, $14 million deal.
Crisp led the AL in steals in 2011 but hit just .264/.314/.379 atop the A's lineup. It was more of the same in 2012, as he hit .259/.325/.418 while stealing 39 bases, and there is little question he was overpaid.
1/16: Acquired OF Seth Smith from Colorado for SP Guillermo Moscoso and SP Josh Outman.
Given a chance to be an everyday player for the first time in his career, Smith battled injuries but still had a solid season with a .240 BA, 14 HR, 52 RBI line over 383 at-bats. The two arms the A's gave up both struggled mightily in Colorado, and given the team's depth were expendable.
1/24: Signed SP Bartolo Colon to a one-year, $2 million deal.
After a rebound season with the Yankees in 2011 in which he went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA after not playing in 2009, Colon gave the A's a veteran presence in a young rotation while going 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA before a positive PED test ended his season.
1/26: Signed OF Jonny Gomes to a one-year, $1 million deal.
The A's knew what they were getting when they signed Gomes: a platoon outfielder with plus power and little else. He delivered more than they could have hoped, hitting .262 BA, 18 HR, 47 RBI over 279 at-bats.
2/13: Signed OF Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $36 million deal.
Cespedes was an intriguing but largely unknown commodity on the free agent market, the the A's took an uncharacteristic chance in signing him to a big-money deal. It was well worth it, though, as he hit .288 BA, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 16 SB and provided a much-needed power bat in the middle of the lineup.