Oakland A's 2012 Outlook by Position: Outfield/DH

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Oakland A's 2012 Outlook by Position: Outfield/DH
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Oakland A's entered the offseason with few parts of their roster for 2012 more undecided than the three outfield spots and the designated hitter position.

The 2011 version of the four spots (and backup roles) consisted of Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui in the starting roles. All figure to be gone via free agency within the next two months or so.

Conor Jackson, the primary backup in the outfield, was traded midway through the season to the Boston Red Sox.

The only returning member from Opening Day 2011 is Ryan Sweeney.

Chris Carter, who we looked at in our first base preview, has some outfield experience, but is not necessarily the defensive fit the A's would be looking for behind their pitching staff.

Grant Green, previewed in our shortstop piece last week, was converted to center field this past season and could figure into the plans around midseason or as a September call-up if the A's decide he needs a full season in Triple-A and he doesn't make a return to the infield.

Michael Taylor, Jai Miller, Sweeney and Jermain Mitchell seem the most likely occupants of the outfield roster spots to open the season, with the designated hitter role likely being some combination of the above-mentioned players.

The only thing that remains certain: It will definitely be a different look than the 2011 outfield.

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