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With Lance Berkman out of the equation, where do A’s turn next?

It’s back-to-the-drawing board time for the A’s with today’s news that Lance Berkman signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Berkman was the A’s No. 1 free agent target, and now they’ll be looking elsewhere to find a DH they hope can provide some power to this offense. It’s also logical to assume that the A’s will turn up the heat in their pursuit of third baseman Adrian Beltre. You have to think the A’s have made their pitch to Beltre and now are waiting for an answer. Could they go back and make an even more enticing offer?

I think the A’s chances at landing Beltre are partly tied to two of their AL West rivals. The Angels — who could use an upgrade at third base — are thought of as a possible destination for Beltre. But the Angels covet outfielder Carl Crawford as their top free agent target. Now it’s also being reported that there’s mutual interest between the Texas Rangers and Crawford, who was born and raised in Houston. Granted, several teams are in on him, including the Yankees and Red Sox. But let’s say the Rangers were to swoop in and sign Crawford. Would that spur the Angels to then push hard to sign Beltre, just to keep up with the defending AL West champs? And would the Angels’ potential interest in Beltre doom the A’s chances? I don’t know. Perhaps Oakland overwhelms him with a great multi-year offer and perhaps Beltre doesn’t want to wait around forever, and the A’s get their third baseman.

As for Berkman being out of the picture, I can tell you the A’s ranked a list of hitters they wanted to target this winter. Now they’re having to work further down that list for DH possibilities. You have to think Hideki Matsui now becomes a strong possibility, and it adds intrigue to the Hisashi Iwakuma negotiations if you believe the theory that signing Iwakuma would help Oakland get Matsui. It’s believed the A’s still hold hope they can sign Iwakuma, a right-hander who would bolster the depth of their rotation. Tuesday is the deadline to get him under contract, or he remains the property of the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.

Any thoughts on what hitters you’d like to see the A’s pursue moving forward?

Joe Stiglich

  • Marcus

    Screw paying too much for one of these older clowns at the end of their careers. Put a trade together Billy and get us a hitter who is in late 20′s. Beltre is a bad idea.

  • jclay09

    What about Magglio? It would be nice to see the A’s linked to him since he’s been hitting in a pitcher’s park at an All Star level for the last 6 years and only requires a 2 year deal.

  • Oakland Sí

    for free agent DH’s I would have preferred the A’s make an offer to Victor Martinez, but that’s no longer an option. Only he or Dunn would have really been DH upgrades. Sign Encarnación? Mend fences with Cust?

    I’m also wary of a long term big $$ deal with Beltré, who’s on the wrong side of 30 with inconsistent offense. what’s up with A’s AAA prospects such as Cardenas? Why no discussion of Rosales?

  • Coachmmm

    It doesn’t appear that Beltre wants to play here.

  • mike

    a’s can’t attract free agents unless they overpay for one. if a’s want offense get ready to deal one of their pitchers.

  • Jason

    Lame!!!!! got to settle for players now. The same Ol’ tune!

  • Angry A’s Fan

    If we’re down to simply replacing Cust, I say try to sign Adam LaRoche. He’d be at worst comparable to Cust numbers wise.

  • crescent

    Why do the A’s want to overpay Beltre – it’s obvious he only performs in contract years – his performance in any given year has a tremendous negative correlation with the number of years left on his contract.

  • Baldy

    As usual……the scraps

  • Son of Hendu

    Find a way to get Matt Kemp from the LA. They were down on him last year. Could be worth a try.

  • Bryan

    Go big after Werth and Crawford, or be a Beanehead and trade an arm. The drop off in pitching will be offset with runs. Get a good year out of Carter and see if Outman can be this year’s Cahill? I don’t know but damn it all! Do Something!!!

  • Bryan

    Check Werth off the list!

  • Josh

    Carlos Pena, he is an A’s alum and would be a good DH

  • Mark

    typical A’s – looking for an inexpensive older hitter on their decline and way past their prime. Why not give Chris Carter the job? Can’t he hit .250 with 25 hr’s and 75 rbi’s over a full season? We wouldn’t be in this mess if we haden’t traded away our future – Carlos Gonzales, Andre Ethier and Ryan Ludwig (that would be the best young OF in baseball!