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Oakland Athletics Offseason: Lance Berkman Signs With Cardinals; Adrian Beltre More Imminent?

The dominoes are quickly falling into place for the Oakland Athletics to push through their bid for Boston Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre. This morning the Red Sox reportedly acquired Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres for prospects. Now, SI.com’s Jon Heyman is reporting that the St. Louis Cardinals came to terms with potential A’s target Lance Berkman on an $8 million deal. The team will move Holliday to right field and play Berkman in left field.

These moves led to Susan Slusser tweeting, “With today’s dominoes falling, #Athletics are very likely to feel even more as if they need to get Beltre wrapped up.” The options are certainly drying up for any kind of impact bat. Of course, as I’ve said over and over again, Beltre is not trustworthy as such an impact bat given his numbers in the middle of contracts. He’ll get the A’s quality defense, but I just don’t trust his bat and the fact that he’s 32.

The A’s now find themselves without a designated hitter after non-tendering Jack Cust. Although the team could still bring back Cust, one has to imagine he’s getting a little tired of this annual game and might try and sign elsewhere. The only real internal option would be for Chris Carter to continue his strong development and for Michael Taylor to blow up in spring training. If that happened, the A’s could go with an OF of Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and either Carter or Taylor, with the alternate filling the DH role.

There are also some decent options remaining on the free agent market. A primary option might be Hideki Matsui who was quite solid last season for the Angels. He had a line of .274/.361/.459. While that’s not fantastic, it’s quite solid and would be a nice addition to the A’s lineup.