The first day of the 2010 MLB Winter Meetings did not yield anything of substance for the Oakland Athletics, particularly as it appeared contract negotiations with Hisashi Iwakuma were more or less dead. The most sizable bit of news was that the A’s might be working towards a contract extension with young pitcher Trevor Cahill. Oakland GM Billy Beane has a history of locking up young players, particularly pitchers. Any deal with Cahill would likely sign him through his arbitration years up until he would be a free agent.
The primary source for Oakland A’s news at any time is Susas Slusser, and she was active on Twitter today in spite of the lack of any additions. The primary news concerned Iwakuma, but she also spoke with Bob Geren about the current team and lineup plans for 2010. According to Geren, Coco Crisp will hit leadoff for the A’s, with David DeJesus sliding in to the second spot and Daric Barton potentially moving back into the third spot in the order.
I find this decision rather interesting given the skill sets of Barton and DeJesus. Barton led the A’s with a .393 on base percentage while DeJesus has continually been a solid doubles hitter for the Royals. I would think you’d rather have your doubles hitter in the third spot and the guy who loves to walk hitting second. If Coco Crisp gets on base, a DeJesus double would certainly be likely to score him. However, after DeJesus gets on, is Barton as likely to drive him in? Why not get Crisp on and potentially draw a Barton walk to give you a shot at two runs on that DeJesus double? I’m sure smarter people than me have thought this out, but it just seems to make sense.
However it works out, it might not matter if the A’s can’t find a big bat to get into the middle of their lineup. Adrian Beltre is the hot name but there has been no advancement on that. The Red Sox deal for Adrian Gonzalez has bounced around considerably but finally got done, meaning Beltre is likely going to hit the road. We’ll keep an eye on that the rest of this week.