Let's discuss the latest on the Athletics, with some help from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle…
- The A's haven't set their budget yet. Slusser expects payroll flexibility to be created by the team letting Ben Sheets leave, declining Eric Chavez's club option, and non-tendering Jack Cust and Gabe Gross. We looked at the team's 12 arbitration eligible players a week ago and suggested that Jeremy Hermida, Conor Jackson, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Travis Buck may also be cut.
- More uncertainty comes in the form of club options for Mark Ellis ($6MM with a $500K buyout) and Coco Crisp ($5.75MM with a $500K buyout). Slusser writes that GM Billy Beane expects to have conversations about that next week.
- Wrote Slusser: "Beane emphasized that he doesn't want to add power at the expense of defense, noting in particular that the team has no intention of moving Daric Barton from first base." The A's could look at a slew of DH options beyond Cust. But perhaps Beane's statement rules out a Carlos Pena reunion.
- Beane is optimistic about getting approval for a new stadium, but it's only a gut feeling. He believes MLB's blue-ribbon panel will issue its report soon.