A's 2013 roster breakdown: First base

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A's 2013 roster breakdown: First base

Editor's note: This is the fifth installment of the Oakland A's position-by-position offseason breakdown, teeing up the team's options for the 2013 season.It took them quite a while, but the A's have finally found that slugging first baseman they have so desperately needed. Only it's two guys that ended up combining to have one monster season. Brandon Moss and Chris Carter became the first base platoon in late June and A's manager Bob Melvin rode the hot hand and the splits to a solve the club's seemingly eternal issue at first base. Moss and Carter combined to hit 27 home runs at first base in 110 games. Together they totaled 66 RBIs while manning first. If you add in the stats from when they played DH or the outfield, they combined to hit 37 dingers and drive in 91 runs. That's more home runs than Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Mark Trumbo or Paul Konerko hit. Imagine what they could both do in a full season. The MossCarter platoon allows the A's to use the hot hand. If one gets hot, he starts daily until he cools off. Meanwhile, the other guy is used as a powerful pinch hitter. The platoon lets Melvin play to their strengths. When combined, Moss and Carter become a potent force. The only thing the two sluggers don't do well is play defense. Moss made eight errors at first base and Carter committed six fielding mistakes. If the A's can find a way to roster a capable glove to take over in the late innings they could create a juggernaut Franken-first-baseman. Daric Barton could be that guy, but the A's likely won't have room to put him on the 25-man roster just to fill in defensively. Barton will have to prove he can do a lot more than just play defense to earn a roster spot.
RELATED: A's re-up with Barton
Here in 2013:Brandon Moss
Chris Carter
Daric Barton
Free Agents:NoneBiggest Question:Can a full year of Melvin's MossCarter platoon take the A's to the next level? Analyst's Take -- Shooty Babitt:"I still think they will want to upgrade there defensively. Both of them will be putting an extreme amount of work in during spring training to become better defensively. I still believe Chris Carter is a DH. He'll make a good play but then he'll have difficulty on a routine play that can cost you the game. In Oakland, as long as that foul territory is as big as it is, you need to have a guy that can knock down a ball."Best Available (and possibly affordable)Lance Berkman, 36
Carlos Pena, 35
James Loney, 29
Jason Giambi, 42
Casey Kotchman, 30
Adam LaRoche, 33
Eric Hinske, 35
Carlos Lee, 37
Casey McGehee, 30
Aubrey Huff, 36

Report: A's bring back lefty Detwiler on minor league deal

Report: A's bring back lefty Detwiler on minor league deal

Left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler is staying with the A's.

The 30-year-old has reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with Oakland, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

The A's purchased Detwiler's contract from the Indians on July 17 and he went on to make nine appearances for the club, including seven starts.

In his time with the A's, Detwiler posted a 6.14 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 44 innings.

Plouffe will push Healy away from third base, but not combative situation

Plouffe will push Healy away from third base, but not combative situation

Trevor Plouffe and Ryon Healy have some history to fall back on before they even start playing together as A’s teammates.

No doubt, their futures are intertwined as well.

Plouffe officially joined Oakland on Wednesday when the team announced his one-year deal that’s worth $5.25 million, plus incentives based on various numbers of plate appearances. General manager David Forst said on a media conference call that he envisions Plouffe as the primary third baseman. That means Healy — coming off an impressive rookie campaign at third — will see the majority of his innings at first base and designated hitter.

Plouffe and Healy grew up in Southern California and both went to Crespi Carmelite High School, though Plouffe, 30, is five years older. But it wasn’t until this winter that they’ve gotten to know each other better, as the rainfall in Southern California drew them both to the same indoor training facility.

They played for the same high school coach, Scott Muckey, which is how Plouffe first heard of Healy.

“I remember hearing about him when he was in high school,” Plouffe said Wednesday. (Muckey) told me about Healy and the kind of player he was. He didn’t give players a lot of credit, so when he did, I took notice.”

Healy works out in the offseason at the Hit Factory in Newberry Park. Earlier this winter, Plouffe popped in with Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.

“It’s kind of coming full circle,” Healy said. “We never thought, being (five) years apart, that we would be teammates. We haven’t had (much of a) prior relationship, but he’s always reached out to me when appropriate. I’ve heard nothing but nice things about the guy. We worked out , chatted and exchanged numbers, and we’re starting that relationship early.”

Plouffe was limited to 84 games last year with Minnesota due to rib and oblique injuries, hitting .260 with 12 homers and 47 RBI. Before that, he averaged 18 homers and 68 RBI from 2012-15, twice topping the 20-HR mark. The Twins non-tendered Plouffe in December rather than pay him the roughly $8 million he was likely to receive in arbitration. That made Plouffe a free agent.

He and Healy make compelling workout partners, as Plouffe’s arrival in green and gold is likely to push Healy over to first, where he played in college and early in his minor league career. But it’s not a combative situation, and the offseason workouts help to build chemistry.

“I was kind of taking my reps at third and first, continuing doing that routine to be prepared for that possiblity,” Healy said. “It doesn’t seem like anything is set in stone. I still have to prove to them I’m ready to play major league baseball come spring time.”

The right-handed hitting Healy will form a platoon at first with Yonder Alonso, Forst said, and see time in a DH rotation that figures to also include Khris Davis, Stephen Vogt, Matt Joyce and possibly others. But Forst noted that Healy also needs to stay sharp at third base.

“It’s easy to envision a scenario where (Plouffe) gets the bulk of time at third base and we still have 500 plate appearances for other guys like Ryon. We have every intention of getting at-bats for Ryon. Trevor is not gonna be out there 162 times, we know that. Ryon is going to have to continue to be ready at third base.”

Forst said the A’s are still scanning the free agent and trade market for potential additions, both on the position-player and pitching side.

Oakland reportedly has agreed to a two-year contract with reliever Santiago Casilla that has yet to be finalized.