A's biding their time in Nashville

A's biding their time in Nashville
December 4, 2012, 6:30 pm
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NASHVILLE -- As the fans hunger for every tasty morsel of new information that comes out of the Winter Meetings, it is often hard for teams to serve up what it takes to satisfy their appetite.

In this case, the A's fan base is starving for a shortstop. But they have to wait for the A's brass to hunt and gather a delectable dish to serve on opening night.

After a full day in Nashville under the expansive roof of the Gaylord Opryland hotel and convention center, the A's still haven't set their sights on a single choice target.

"I'm not quite sure we have that clarity yet," A's general manager Beane said from his suite in the hotel. "There are a number of options and pros and cons with each one."

The biggest question is the fit. Stephen Drew could be a nice fit, but based on the rumored years and dollars that 37-year-old Marco Scutaro might be signing for, Drew could be very costly.

There's Hiroyuki Nakajima -- a prized international talent -- but how his numbers will translate into Major League Baseball is a big unknown.

Yunel Escobar is being shopped by the Marlins. He has a desirable contract. He is owed $5 million in 2013, and then his club will have a $5 million option for 2014 and 2015. It will take a package of prospects to acquire him.

Beane wouldn't say he was leaning in either direction as far as how he'd like to go about acquiring a shortstop. He said there is an internal debate about whether trading for one or going the free agent route is the way to go.

So what player represents the best fit for the A's?

"Our most important year as it relates to finding a shortstop now is the impact he'll have on 2013," Beane said. "The guy that can help us the most that year is going to be most attractive to us."

If a free agent is the solution, the A's are looking for a short term deal. The A's aren''t willing to deal any of their Major League-ready starting pitchers, or any of their big league outfield depth. Oakland won't rush into a deal, and they will wait until the proposal or price is right for them.

As a result it will take time.

"I don't necessarily expect it to be something that happens here," Beane warned.  

There are about seven television sets, tons of media, agents, and all the shot callers from each Major League franchise gathered in the same venue. So naturally fans expect things to happen now. It probably won't. The hunger games continue.

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