0

Healthy Jaso will catch, but wonders if it will be with the A’s

John Jaso wants to be back with the A's, but doesn't know if a trade is in his future.

John Jaso wants to be back with the A’s, but doesn’t know if a trade is in his future.

It’s possible that the A’s have done their damage at the 113th Winter Meetings and will cool their heels the rest of the week, but it’s not a solid bet.

Oakland still has at least one other player the A’s might consider moving, catcher John Jaso. To be sure, general manager  Billy Beane is a huge fan of Jaso, who works the count, has a habit of coming up with timely hits and who is an on-base machine.

On the down side, he’s had concussions the last two years that have taken him out of back-to-back stretch drives with Oakland. Doctors have given him the go-ahead to resume catching.

“I think that’s ancient history now,’’ Jaso told me Tuesday morning. “I’m moving on, starting my workouts and I’m ready to go. As of right now, I’m still planning on taking up catching again, whatever team I’m on.’’

   The A’s had their best success in 2014 when they employed a three-catcher group of lefties Jaso and Stephen Vogt and right-hander Derek Norris. The A’s second-half decline paralleled injuries to Vogt and Jaso.

Now, with the addition of Ike Davis at first base and Billy Butler at DH, there might be less playing time for Jaso, so much so that a trade might be a viable option for the A’s. Beane and manager Bob Melvin both talked Monday about Jaso having put the concussion issue behind him. But knowing Beane, a deal remains a real possibility.

“I talked to Billy and I don’t know anything about where I’ll be,’’ Jaso said. “I told him I’m open to addition positions like first base and the outfield, whatever he needs, but as of right now my priority is being a catcher.

“I have no idea if I will be traded. If you’d asked me two years ago when I was with the Mariners, I would have said, `hell, yeah, I’m staying,’ but then I was traded. I love this organization and my teammates and I would love to stay with the A’s.’’

Even if Jaso stays, there will be new faces aplenty in Oakland with deals over the past five months that have seen Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson and most recently Brandon Moss get shipped out.

“That’s a lot of RBIs for one team to lose, a lot of talent we lost,’’ Jaso said. “But Billy has always been able to do winning stuff. I hope we got even return in the trades, but I’m sure he’s trying more of that.’’

For the moment Jaso won’t be worrying about whether he’s coming or going, because he’s going. To Patagonia on a hiking and backpacking vacation that’s right up my alley. He said that’s his passion.

“I’m an outdoors guy like that,’’ he said. “That’s one reason I’d love to stay with the A’s. I live in Southern California, but I consider myself more of a Northern Californian because of all the outdoor stuff I like to do.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.