A’s tied to Chone Figgins, Vladimir Guerrero in speculation

Can we expect the A’s to make as big an offseason splash as they did last winter? That might be hard to top. But with the World Series wrapped up, the Hot Stove speculation can officially begin. The MLB Network’s Jon Heyman discussed this winter’s crop of free agents, and he mentioned the A’s as potential suitors for third baseman Chone Figgins and outfielder/DH Vladimir Guerrero.

Juicy names, indeed. But I don’t see the A’s making a push for Figgins. Clearly, they need to sign someone at third. The odds are stacked against Eric Chavez remaining healthy, and it’s asking a lot of prospect Brett Wallace to be ready Opening Day. That’s why making the call on whether to re-sign Adam Kennedy is the A’s first crucial decision of the winter.

Figgins would cost a bundle, with some speculating he could command $10 million per season on a multi-year deal. Look at the A’s offensive strength right now – it’s tied to their speed and athleticism with guys like Rajai Davis and Cliff Pennington. They don’t need another burner such as Figgins. They need someone who can drive in those speedy guys once they get on base.

Guerrero is intriguing, if only because his injury struggles in 2009 should drive his price down. But he’s a huge gamble even at a bargain cost. I’m more intrigued by the A’s pursuing someone like Jermaine Dye. His 2010 option was declined by the White Sox on Friday, making him a free agent. He’ll turn 36 in January (making him a year older than Vlad), but he’s coming off a far more healthy and productive season. Dye plays right field, where the A’s have a terrific defender and still-developing hitter in Ryan Sweeney. But remember, Billy Beane acknowledged that the A’s need more offense from the corner outfield spots, and that they could look to upgrade in left or right.

Team owner Lew Wolff wants the A’s to abandon the philosophy of signing aging sluggers. But let’s face it – the A’s aren’t going to outspend the big-budget teams to sign any superstars. And trading for an impact hitter in his prime will cost the A’s some of their elite pitching prospects. I don’t see them easily parting with those players (then again, I didn’t see them trading for Matt Holliday last winter, either).

Just a few thoughts for you to ponder as the Hot Stove season starts heating up. Let’s here what some of you think …

Joe Stiglich

  • uweblab

    Bring Jermaine Dye back to finish his career in his native bay area. Could be another Frank Thomas type for the A’s…maybe the Giants will sign Bad Vlad or Figgins. Mr. 420 Lincecum could use some more run support…

  • aj zyla

    Ive been an A’s fan my whole life(33yrs). Ive seen the best come and go. I believe we have a core group of young athletes on our team but we need to start spending some quality money on players that will have a career in Oakland. We have not had a consistant team since the early 2000’s. I hope this winter will bring some exciting powerful players to the A’s.

  • I say lets pay the big money for Matsui. #1 he’s a big bat and a great DH, #2 he would bring a lot more fans to the park, #3 when we play Seatle the place will sell out #4 could open up revenue from Japan.

  • I don’t know if the A’s will go after any free agnent. It would be good for the team to have a big bat in the line up, but what we as A’s fans have seen in the past is. Bad trades and bone headed moves by mangement. What i would like to see is the A’s use the farm camp to bring up guys we need. I have hard so much about Brett walles the person that will play thirdbase. As fare as the DH spot in the line up I would think Ivan Rodriguez would be a good fit

  • Kevin

    As a LONG TIME A’s fan (Rudi, Bando, Campy, etc) I have seen the A’s go from prosperity of those days to the days where they were the worst team in baseball. Then to the Bash Brothers and then to a good team but never quite good enough.

    So, what I have seen is the A’s have the best farm team in MLB and it is amazing that they have done as well as they have. But, we need to develop them and keep them. What would this team look like had we kept Dye, Hudson, Mulder, Zito and gotten a DH here and there? We would have added to our number of Series titles thats what!!

  • Dale

    I have loves the A’S my whole life and like most said im sick of them just being a farm team i think they need to go out and spend some money and get 2 good hitters this offseason Jason Bay comes to mind first and Vlad would be a great fit they have a very young pitching staff and with Duch coming back and Barden staying heathly i think they will have a great shot to make the playoffs with the angles losing lackey and 2 good hitters i just want them to make playoffs one more time before i die LOL BILLY BEAN SPEND THE MONEY BRO!!!!!!!

  • Kurt

    Please people….this is A Oakland team we are talking about. ya know, cheapville USA. This Wolfe guy has ZERO intention of making our beloved boys a winner.He wants a so so team to take out of town. What do you all think? Do ya think Mr.Moneyball himself (Beane) woke up a couple years ago and lost the genius we KNOW he has? No…he is being a good corporate stooge and leaving the A’s in limbo till they move!!!!