A’s could see all seven of their free agents gone in 2015

Starter Jon Lester is one of seven potential free agents the A's could see leave this off-season.

Starter Jon Lester is one of seven potential free agents the A’s could see leave this off-season.

Now that Madison Bumgarner is going to stop grabbing all the headlines, which should happen any day now, the clock is up and running on the 2015 season for the A’s, and for everyone else.

The A’s had visions that starter Jon Lester would have the same kind of impact on Oakland’s October as Bumgarner did for San Francisco’s. Lester, after all, had the second-best World Series ERA, 0.43, in history before Bumgarner’s MVP performance against the Royals lowered his career World Series ERA to 0.25, pushing Lester to third.

Now Lester is all but gone from the A’s. He said he loved his time in Oakland, and the A’s would like to have him back, but the money doesn’t work. Lester is going to get a contract in the range of $150 million from someone – the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Cubs lead the list of the usual suspects – that would all but break the bank in Oakland.

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Gibson won’t be A’s bench coach; Hansen could be bat coach

Kirk Gibson, who had been thought to be on the short list as the next bench coach of the Oakland A’s, will not be heading to Oakland, sources told this newspaper Friday.

Gibson, a longtime friend of A’s manager Bob Melvin and one of Melvin’s coaches when he managed in Arizona, was fired by the Diamondbacks in the final week of the season.

And with Dave Magadan apparently having pulled out as a candidate for the A’s batting coach, Oakland management seems to be getting closer to settling on the makeup of the coaching staff for the 2015 season.

The A’s are negotiating with current Angels’ assistant batting coach Dave Hansen to take over for Chili Davis as batting coach. Hansen previously has spent time as batting coach for the Mariners and the Dodgers.

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Moss on crutches now; should be ready for spring training

Brandon Moss will be on weight-bearing crutches for four weeks after having successful hip surgery Tuesday.

Brandon Moss will be on weight-bearing crutches for four weeks after having successful hip surgery Tuesday.

Brandon Moss will need about three months before he can start running again after having surgery on his right hip Tuesday.

He’ll spend the next month on partial weight-bearing crutches after Dr. Thomas Byrd repaired a torn labrum as well as some other general cleanup to alleviate the impingement in Moss’s hip.

The good news for the A’s is that there’s no need for microfracture surgery for Moss, which means he could be good to go by the time spring training rolls around mid-February.

Moss first felt hip pain in May but made the American League All-Star team for the first time. After hitting 268 with 21 homers and 66 RBIs up to the All-Star break, Moss saw his production fall off substantially in the second half of the season,

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A’s talk to Hansen as batting coach after Angels give their OK

The A’s have been able to add another strong candidate for the club’s open batting coach position.

When Chili Davis took off to be the batting coach with the Boston Red Sox, Oakland thought about trying to hire Dave Hansen, the former Dodgers’s and Mariners’ batting coach who was the Angels’ assistant hitting coach this past season.

But it seemed as if the Angels weren’t going to give the A’s permission to talk to him.

That changed Wednesday when Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Angels’ general manager Jerry DiPoto said he’d given the A’s permission to talk with Oakland. More than that, Hansen has already interviewed with the A’s and a decision could be forthcoming by this weekend.

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Chili looking forward to life in Boston with Cespedes, but he’s confident A’s offense will be productive again in 2014

Chili Davis looking forward to working with Red Sox, but confident A's offense will do well without him.

Chili Davis looking forward to working with Red Sox, but confident A’s offense will do well without him.

Outgoing batting coach Chili Davis said the A’s made a good effort to try and keep him in the organization, but when Oakland couldn’t go to three years on a contract the way Boston did, that started him on the path to joining the Red Sox.

Length of contract was important, but it wasn’t the only reason he’s in Boston. There were expectations that he’d go to the Yankees, but he’d worked in the minor leagues with Boston before joining the A’s under manager Bob Melvin three years ago, and that held some sway, too.

“The A’s tried, but it just wasn’t sufficient,’’ Davis said told this newspaper Monday. “I wanted to know I would be somewhere more than two years.

“Everybody had me going to Yankees because I played there,’’ Davis said. “It was strong for me, knowing (GM Brian) Cashman and (manager Joe) Girardi. What really pulled me the other way was that I had worked for the Red Sox and I was familiar with some of the staff and a lot of the players.’’

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With Chili heading to Red Sox, A’s have 2 open coaching slots

The Red Sox have lured Chili Davis away from the A's to be Boston's new batting coach.

The Red Sox have lured Chili Davis away from the A’s to be Boston’s new batting coach.

The A’s will have to make room for two new coaches heading into 2015 with Chili Davis having agreed to move to the Boston Red Sox Sunday as the new batting coach.

The A’s had already lost their bench coach when Chip Hale left last week to take over as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The A’s likely will move quickly to find a replacement for Davis. One highly qualified candidate would be Dave Magadan, who spent the last couple of years coaching the Texas Rangers. With the hiring of a new manager, Jeff Bannister, all Rangers coaches have been told they are free to explore other options.

Two men who have been hitting coaches before for A’s manager bob Melvin when he managed the Arizona Diamondbacks might be of interest. Rich Schu is the current Washington Nationals batting coach and Kevin Seitzer is the batting coach with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Melvin also worked well in 2004 with Paul Molitor as his batting coach in Seattle, but both men were fired at the end of the season. Molitor is a coach with the Minnesota Twins currently.

Looking in house, minor league roving hitting instructor Marcus Jensen might get a look, as might Triple-A hitting coach Greg Sparks and Double-A hitting coach Webster Garrison.


A’s behind some of Royals’ success heading to World Series

Royals celebrate their AL wild card win over the A's on Sept. 30.

Royals celebrate their AL wild card win over the A’s on Sept. 30.

Why is Kansas City the team that’s waiting for the San Francisco Giants in the World Series?

You can blame it on (or thank, depending on how you feel about it) the Oakland A’s. So says Don Wakamatsu, the former Seattle manager who is now the bench coach for the Royals, working under manager Ned Yost.

After ending a four-game losing streak on July 22, the Royals had steamrolled everyone through Sept. 7. Kansas City used a blistering 31-13 run to go from eight games out in the American League Central to 1½ games up on the Detroit Tigers

The Royals ran out of juice at that point, falling out of the Central lead while limping home with a 10-10 record in the final 20 games. If the Mariners (9-11) and the A’s (8-12) had done even a little better over the same stretch, Kansas City’s stretch of missing the post-season would have made it to an even 30 years and Oakland and Seattle would have been the American League’s wild card combatants.

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Foot surgery a success, Vogt looks to recover by December

A's catcher Stephen Vogt will need about eight weeks to recover from Tuesday's foot surgery.

A’s catcher Stephen Vogt will need about eight weeks to recover from Tuesday’s foot surgery.

A’s catcher Stephen Vogt is scheduled for a post-surgery checkup Thursday, then will fly back from Los Angeles to Washington State to begin six-to-eight weeks of recovery.

Vogt had Dr. Kenneth Jung repair the plantar plates in his right foot Tuesday. Along the way, Jung removed scar tissue built up over the last three months of the season as Vogt tried to play through the injury. Some repair work had to be done on the capsule of the second metatarsal.

Vogt was limited to first base and the outfield after the injury came down in late June, then just first base after the All-Star break with occasional spot starts as the designated hitter. By the time of his last appearance in the outfield on July 11 he sported a .376 average and was one of the hottest hitters in the game.

From that point on, however, he averaged just .220 in his last 52 games as the injury took its toll, and he finished the season with a .279 average knowing that surgery was in his best interests.

“I’m doing good,’’ Vogt said from Los Angeles Wednesday. “I’ll see the doc again tomorrow, fly home for a couple of weeks, then come back down here for another checkup. But things went well, and that’s all good.’’

Vogt said he’ll spend most of the next four weeks just recuperating, then the four weeks after that doing physical therapy to get back the strength in flexibility in his foot. By Christmas he hopes to be ready to start his regular workouts and build up to spring training in February.

“It’s not that I couldn’t have caught a game the second half of the season if I’d absolutely needed to,’’ Vogt said. “It’s that they told me the pain would be so much after catching one game that I’d be out three or four days after. Physically not being able to do anything for days at a time wouldn’t have worked.’’

The A’s have one more off-season surgery scheduled. Brandon Moss will have surgery to repair a troublesome hip next Tuesday in Nashville with Dr. Thomas Byrd performing the procedure. Moss played the final four months of the season with the hip giving him occasional problems, and it got worse as the season went on.

He had a cortisone shot the final week of the season and hit two home runs and drove in five runs in the A’s 12-inning 9-8 loss to the Royals in the American League wild card playoff game.


Yankees to interview Chili Davis for vacant batting coach slot

The Yankees have A's batting coach Chili Davis on their radar.

The Yankees have A’s batting coach Chili Davis on their radar.

Chili Davis, the A’s hitting coach the last three seasons, will fly to New York in the near future for an interview with the Yankees about taking the vacant job in the Bronx, this newspaper has learned.

Davis, who spent the last two years of his playing career with the Yankees, is one of the prime candidates for the open Yankees batting coach position.

Davis said in an email that he’d gotten a call from the Yankees and would be heading soon to New York for an interview.

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Hale new DBacks manager; a look at A’s coaching options

Chip Hale, the A's bench coach the last three seasons, will be named Arizona Diamondbacks manager today.

Chip Hale, the A’s bench coach the last three seasons, will be named Arizona Diamondbacks manager today.

Longtime A’s bench coach Chip Hale was named manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday.

Hale spent the last three seasons with the A’s under manager Bob Melvin and has been looked at as a possible big league manager for most of that time. He was a finalist in the competition in Seattle at this time last year that saw Lloyd McClendon become the Mariners’ skipper.

“It’s a great hire by Arizona,’’ Melvin, himself a former Diamondbacks manager, said Monday. “Chip’s more than ready for the job. There are some Oakland connections for him there, and he was in that organization for a while, too.’’

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