DALLAS -- A's GM Billy Beane has left the Winter Meetings. He does not like the atmosphere and would rather do business elsewhere. You cant blame him, since hes mostly stuck in his suite without a lot of room to do his thing. Much like Beane, the As starting outfield is on the way out. Josh Willingham and Coco Crisp almost assuredly will not be back in Oakland in 2012. Other than David DeJesus -- now with the Cubs -- its not a certainty but pretty close.
Beane said as much yesterday. Tuesday, he elaborated a bit saying that some of the young talent in the organization has a chance to show what they are made of next season. The GM said hes not committed about the young players making it into the starting lineup, theyll have to earn it.
Ryan Sweeney is projected as the starting right fielder. Centerfield? Maybe from within but Beane says outside the organization, theres not a lot of centerfielders out there.
Left field is still open as well. He reiterated, We have to find alternatives.
Players in the system are an option. Jai Miller and Michael Taylor are the names you hear most often. They both saw time with the big club in 2011.
Taylor came to the system with high regard. In 2011, he struggled in the majors, hitting just .200 with one home run in 11 games.
We still like the talent. He needs to show hes ready at the highest level, Beane said of the Stanford product.
Jermaine Mitchell is on the 40-man roster as well. He performed very well last year, with a .332 average, 15 home runs, 78 RBI and 60 total extra-base hits in 130 games between double-A and Triple-A in 2011.
The free agent market is not filled with viable options either. Some of the better names available are the players leaving Oakland.
With Beane now gone from Dallas, hes likely to get some work done away from the mayhem. Something tells me finding outfielders will take up a good deal of his time. By February, something needs to happen.