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Headley had chance to join A’s; that money will stay in play; Korean shortstop Kang is not among those likely to get it

Eric Sogard is the only remaining member of the 2014 A's infield still with the team after free agency Jed Lowrie signed Sunday with Houston.

Eric Sogard is the only remaining member of the 2014 A’s infield still with the team after free agency Jed Lowrie signed Sunday with Houston.

In trading Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Jeff Samardzija this off-season, the A’s have made it very clear that they are going younger in 2015. And, as a byproduct, they are seeing their payroll obligations much reduced.

But they A’s were willing to chase at least one expensive free agent, Padres’ third baseman Chase Headley, this time around. I wrote about the possibility when the Donaldson trade went down. And when the third baseman signed a four-year $52-million deal Monday with the Yankees, Ken Rosenthal of Fox confirmed via Twitter that Oakland had indeed made a competitive offer for Headley early on.

While no one now will get from the A’s as much as they were willing to offer Headley, the A’s still have money to spend in free agency.

But despite the rumors that persist on the internet, Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang will not be one on the Oakland shopping list. Kang was posted Monday, but at the winter meetings, A’s general manager Billy Beane made it clear the A’s were not interested.

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Canha could be intriguing option for A’s at third base

Mark Canha, who went from Bellarmine High to Cal, will get every chance to stick with A's in 2015.

Mark Canha, who went from Bellarmine High to Cal, is mostly a left fielder and first baseman, but he can play some third, and A’s may well give him that chance in 2015.

The smart money says the A’s aren’t done with their tri-annual roster remake, but as we await those, there are some intriguing possibilities put forward by the moves the club already has made since the end of the season.

For me, one of the more compelling is the addition of Rule 5 slugger Mark Canha, the Cal product who is mostly a first baseman and left fielder.

He also plays third base, and has a Triple-A slash line good enough – .303/.384/.505 – that the A’s traded a young pitcher they liked, Austin House, Thursday morning to make sure they could emerge from the Rule 5 draft with Canha, the owner of 68 career minor league homers, in the fold.

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Indians interested in prying Brandon Moss away from A’s

A's first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss is being sought by the Indians.

A’s first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss is being sought by the Indians.

The A’s are talking with the Indians in a deal Cleveland hopes will land them first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss.

A source close to the A’s said no deal was imminent, but it’s possible something could happen by the end of the week.

It was just last week that the A’s traded third baseman Josh Donaldson to Toronto for young veteran third baseman Brett Lawrie (24) and three Blue Jays prospects.

It seems that any deal involving Moss would likely follow the same course, Oakland getting younger and adding depth at the high minor league level with the hope that they’d get contributions from the newcomers sometime in 2015.

Moss, 31, is coming off surgery five weeks ago to repair hip damage and is currently on crutches, but his surgeon, Dr. Thomas Byrd, said after the Oct. 23 surgery that Moss should be good to go come spring training.

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A’s could use Lawrie at second if Headley is in their future

Brett Lawrie could be the A's third baseman in 2015, or he could be the second baseman.

Brett Lawrie could be the A’s third baseman in 2015, or he could be the second baseman.

The A’s trade of Josh Donaldson Friday may seem to make little sense when looked at as a solo exercise on the part of general manager Billy Beane.

But if it’s taken as part of a package, the deal in which the A’s sent their All-Star third baseman to Toronto in exchange for four players – including third baseman Brett Lawrie –

Oakland management is high on, could well be part of a series of roster maneuvers that might have a chance to keep the A’s competitive in 2015.

The A’s have lost (or will soon lose) starters Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, reliever Luke Gregerson and shortstop Jed Lowrie as free agents. That’s a load and a half to make up during the winter, and it’s possible it can’t be done.

But there are other options out there.

I heard from a source Friday that the A’s are talking with the Braves about outfielder Justin Upton and/or catcher Evan Gattis, two power hitters who would grace any big league lineup. The cost would be astronomical – starter Jeff Samardzija – but the return would be seriously good.

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Coco a no-go again with strained calf

The A’s finish off their nine-game road trip with three against the Blue Jays here at the Rogers Center. This is the first time in Oakland history that the A’s have played in all domes on a three-city trip, according to the team’s media relations department. I put an asterisk next to that, because Safeco Field in Seattle – even when the roof is closed — has lots of open space and you can see out of it. It doesn’t feel like you’re watching baseball inside a Costco, which is the vibe I get in Tampa Bay and Toronto. But I don’t mind Tropicana Field and Rogers Center — it’s a change of pace for a series or two. I just wouldn’t want to cover a full season in either venue.

–Coco Crisp’s strained right calf is still bothering him, so he’s sitting for a second straight game. A’s manager Bob Melvin had said Sunday he thought Crisp would be able to return today (Conor Jackson’s sore back is feeling good enough that he’s starting at first base after sitting Sunday).

It doesn’t seem that the DL is being considered yet for Crisp, because Melvin holds out hope that he can either pinch-hit in this series or perhaps even start Thursday. But past experience shows us that none of Crisp’s injuries should be taken too lightly. It’s worth noting that Melvin was pleasantly surprised to see Crisp emerge from the clubhouse and stretch with his teammates today. So maybe he is doing better.

(Breaking news!!! After writing about indoor baseball here at Rogers Center, the retractable roof just began to open and a blinding sun is hitting me right in the face. That’s what I get for comparing this place to a Costco).

–There’s quite a buzz in Toronto about the home debut of hotshot rookie third baseman Brett Lawrie, who was just called up Friday. He’s from British Columbia, and he’s just the 17th Canadian to play for the Blue Jays. Tonight’s A’s starter, Rich Harden, also is from British Columbia, so that adds some intrigue to their individual matchup.

–Reliever Craig Breslow is available today after being shut down Sunday with upper back pain.

Tonight’s lineups:
A’s – Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, Jackson 1B, DeJesus RF, Suzuki C, Sweeney CF, Sizemore 3B; Harden RHP.

Jays – Escobar SS, Thames LF, Bautista RF, Lind 1B, Encarnacion DH, Rasmus CF, Hill 2B, Arencibia C, Lawrie 3B; Cecil LHP.