The Oakland A's are heading into 2010 with a rotation filled with young, talented arms and an offense with some speed. And despite the potential of some of their highly-touted youngsters, the A's could still use a veteran or two.
The A's are rumored to be in the running for Ben Sheets and possibly even Johnny Damon, who was once an Athletic. Oakland could definitley use either player, but are most likely to sign only one.
The rumors come after the A's failed to sign highly-touted Cuban prospect, Aroldis Chapman. The A's aggressively pursued Chapman, and had the money to sign him, but they ultimately fell short.
Now, Oakland is said to have financial flexiblilty, and have the potential to snatch a guy like Sheets off the free agent market. Oakland sent scouts to watch Sheets in his latest workout, and are believed to have been at least satisfied with what they saw from him.
With Oakland's rotation featuring three young arms in Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Gio Gonzalez, it's not a bad idea that Oakland pursue more veteran leadership. The A's do have Justin Duchscherer, but Ben Sheets wouldn't be a bad addition.
As noted before, the A's seem to be transitioning from that old "Moneyball" image and seem to have adopted more aggressive baserunning. Rajai Davis was one of the catalysts that drove Oakland to a .500 record in the second half of the 2009 season with his aggressive baserunning.
Power, however, isn't a word that I'd use to describe Oakland's current offensive situation. Jack Cust, who led the A's in homers for the past three seasons is pretty much all Oakland has in the power department.
Prospects who are seen as potential sluggers include Michael Taylor and Chris Carter, but neither are guaranteed to have a spot on Oakland's opening day roster. Taylor, the more talented of the two, is considered to be close-to-ready, but only time will tell if he starts for Oakland.
The other rumor that has been circulating around for the past day or so is the possible return of Johnny Damon. This deal, however, seems a bit unrealistic to me. The A's already boast an over-populated outfield, and have a potential jam at the DH spot.
If the A's are unable to sign Sheets, they could make a run at Damon, who could fit in the middle of the order for the A's. Regardless of what does or does not happen, the A's are aggressively testing what's left in the free agent market.