A's reportedly looking to keep Colon, Lowrie

A's reportedly looking to keep Colon, Lowrie
November 12, 2013, 4:30 pm
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The A's hope to re-sign the 40 year old ace that helped them win the AL West last season

The A’s face offseason decisions regarding their pitching staff, and they might get a read this week on which direction they’re heading.

Team officials reportedly will meet with the agent for starting pitcher Bartolo Colon during the general managers’ meetings currently taking place in Orlando, Fla., with the idea of offering Colon a one-year contract to return for a third season in Oakland.

Financial details of any offer aren’t known, and it’s also unclear how much interest the 40-year-old free agent is getting from other teams, or when he might make his decision on where to sign. Colon posted sterling numbers this past season – 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA – but there’s doubt about how the market shapes up for the right-hander considering his age.

What is clear is that the A’s would like Colon back to anchor a starting rotation that otherwise would be quite young. GM Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin have said they would like Colon to return. Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily and Tommy Milone are sure to be in the mix for rotation spots next season, but none of that quintet has more than two years of big league experience.

Left-hander Brett Anderson remains a trade possibility, and his status appears linked to whether Colon is back in an A’s uniform. Were Colon to re-sign, the A’s could feel more comfortable parting with Anderson, who is due $8 million next season and has upside that could prove attractive to other teams. Cbssports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that Anderson’s name is being “bandied about” at the GM meetings, which conclude Wednesday.

The GM meetings gather executives from all 30 major league teams, and they offer the chance to start preliminary talks on potential trades leading into next month’s larger-scale winter meetings. The A’s always manage to find themselves in the rumor mill, even in an offseason where they’re coming off another division championship and their roster appears mostly set.

A report surfaced Tuesday that the St. Louis Cardinals are interested in A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie. But it seems highly unlikely anything would develop on that front. Lowrie was an instrumental piece as Oakland’s No. 3 hitter last season, and he’s likely to earn somewhere in the $4.5-5 million range through arbitration for next season. That’s a very affordable figure for a player who hit .290 with 15 homers, 45 doubles and 75 RBI while playing a demanding defensive position.

Given that, the A’s aren’t likely to part with Lowrie, especially when there’s no obvious replacement within the organization ready to take his place at shortstop. Big things are expected from Addison Russell, a 2012 first-round pick and the A’s top prospect, but he’s just 19 years old and could benefit from some experience at Triple-A for at least part of next season.

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