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A’s GM Billy Beane set to exit winter meetings without an outfielder

Dec 6, 2011, 7:30 PM EDT

Billy Beane

Billy Beane never sticks around until the end of the winter meetings, and this year won’t be any different, even though he could be looking at an outfield of Jermaine Mitchell, Jai Miller and Ryan Sweeney if the season started tomorrow.

MLB.com’s Jane Lee points out that Beane is leaving Dallas tonight without the A’s having made a move. Assistant GM David Forst will lead the way until the winter meetings conclude Thursday.

With Oakland’s entire starting outfield of Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp and David DeJesus having filed for free agency, the lone outfielders left on the team’s 40-man roster after Mitchell, Miller, Sweeney and Michael Taylor. Sweeney is the only one of the bunch to have done anything in the majors, and he’s struggled to establish himself as more than a fourth outfielder.

The A’s will seek outfield help in trade talks, but they’ll likely end up bargain hunting later this winter. J.D. Drew, Kosuke Fukudome, Ryan Ludwick and Mike Cameron are some of the veteran outfielders staring down paycuts this winter.

There is help on the way beyond 2012. Converted shortstop Grant Green and fellow former first-round pick Michael Choice rank among the team’s best prospects. Green could factor into the center field mix as next season progresses, and Choice might be an option come 2013.

  1. hammyofdoom - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    And the A’s keep hurting. Seriously, oof, that’s gotta hurt

    • JBerardi - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:57 PM

      Lost in the wilderness, it seems.

  2. bigleagues - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    SO WHAT?!

    I’m gonna lay some heavy truth on you all, and I’m not looking to ruin anyone’s Christmas (if the Winter Meetings is your Xmas), so skip this comment if you you don’t want your fantasy shattered . . .

    . . . the Winter Meetings do not exist for the purpose of trading and signing players.

    The Winter Meetings exist mainly so ML teams can meet with their MiL teams, MLB & MiLB vote on rules that govern their relationship, individual leagues meet and vote on league issues, industry award banquet, galas, organizational dinners (everyone except the Yankees), massive trade show, job seekers meet with Minor and Major league organizations, and more.

    That the timing of it and convenience lend itself to players meeting with prospective teams and and a trade or two is simply a happy by-product of the event itself. The ubiquitous media presence (WM locales always make great TV backdrops) makes it appealing to organizations looking to make a big FA signing or trade. That Beane didn’t land an OF is not necessarily a reflection on him or the A’s.

    Beane may sign someone the day after he gets home. Or even later on. It doesn’t have to happen at the Winter Meetings. Yet the media loves framing the backdrop of the Meetings as this massive FA and Trading marketplace, when, in fact, its not.

    And I’ll go a further step . . . the Winter Meetings is the year end party, and dare I say . . . the baseball industry can party with the best of them. Baseball, Booze & Boobz is the underlying theme of the Meetings.

    I never attended a Winter Meetings in which I didn’t see the Brett brothers blitzed or Harold Reynolds working his magic on the ladies.

    The Winter Meetings are an adult Disneyland for those lucky enough to attend.

    • Loren - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:49 PM

      Billy has said as much himself. Well, maybe he didn’t go quite that far, but basically he said that he has discussions and lays groundwork at the winter meetings, but the deals go down afterwards.

  3. mojosmagic - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Billy should cal the Phil’s about Dom Brown. Cheap and lot of upside.

  4. danbeachler - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    I could see the A’s trying Brandon Allen in the outfield. They have Kila, Barton, and Carter for DH/1B, so Allen makes sense for the OF especially if the fail to add more than one other outfielder.

  5. foreverchipper10 - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Ben Grieve!

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