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Lobby watch

The developments have been slow on the first day of these meetings, folks. The GMs typically don’t meet with their team’s beat reporters until the evening, and dialogue has been slow between teams, from all indications. We’ve got all the usual ingredients here of the winter meetings — reporters and random team officials gathered in a herd in one wide open area of the Bellagio lobby, just not a lot of fireworks yet. It must be puzzling for non-baseball fans trying to get to the elevators to go to their rooms — this huge cluster of people just taking up space in this one area.

One note A’s fans might find interesting: The Dodgers appear close to re-signing free agent third baseman Casey Blake to a deal, possibly for three years. I ‘ve had Blake on my list of free agents I think would fit for the A’s. He’s got a little pop (21 HRs last year) and could fill a need because he can play first or third, even the outfield if needed. The A’s could use some insurance at third with Eric Chavez’s shoulder concerns, but Billy Beane has said he isn’t going to overspend for an insurance policy. When I checked in with Blake’s agent earlier this offseason, there hadn’t been any contact from the A’s.

Besides, we know the A’s might be targeting free agent Jason Giambi, and have shown interest in trading for the Nationals’ Nick Johnson at first base. I’m told the Nats would want a major league-ready starting pitcher in exchange for Johnson if the A’s ever got serious about things. After unloading Greg Smith already, it’d be interesting to see if they would deal another young arm.

By the way, I witnessed a scene that would have turned the stomachs of A’s fans still stinging from the 1990 World Series: Eric Davis and Rob Dibble exchanging a hug and high-five as they bumped into each other in the lobby. As I said folks, it’s been a slow news day …

Joe Stiglich