Shortstop has been a primary off-season concern for the Oakland Athletics, with the team being linked to multiple players at the position at the Winter Meetings. You can now cross one possibility off of that list as Yunel Escobar has been traded by the Miami Marlins to the Tampa Bay Rays. He was widely seen as an attractive option for Oakland due to his relatively modest $5 million salary.
The Escobar trade leaves the A's with dwindling options at shortstop. One possibility is Stephen Drew. Drew was traded to Oakland in August last season, where he hit .250 in 39 games. He is a free agent after Oakland declined a $10 million option for next season, but the club is reported to be willing to bring him back at a lower price tag. Drew is a career .265 hitter who has missed large parts of the last two seasons with a broken ankle.
Oakland is also said to be considering Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima and they met with his agents on Tuesday. Nakajima hit .311 with 13 home runs in the Japan Pacific League last season.