The provisional 45-man rosters for the World Baseball Classic included four players who could be part of the A’s Opening Day roster — relievers Joey Devine, Brad Ziegler (United States) and Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic), and outfielder Chris Denorfia (Italy). Also included were A’s minor league pitchers Scott Mitchinson (Australia) and Ricardo Penalba (Panama). Mitchinson pitched in Single-A last season, splitting time between Kane County and Stockton, while Penalba, just 20, was in rookie ball. There are no guarantees any of these six will be playing in the WBC. Final rosters for all countries don’t have to be set until Feb. 24.
–ESPN’s Buster Olney has a rumor up on his blog that the A’s are one of the teams considering free agent reliever Russ Springer. He’s 40, but the right-hander has made at least 70 appearances each of the last three seasons. The A’s also have been connected to lefty reliever Dennys Reyes. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them sign a veteran reliever as they’ve done the past two winters with Alan Embree and Keith Foulke.