Athletics Still Interested In Ludwick, Ross, Jackson

The Athletics recently committed $14MM to retain center fielder Coco Crisp, but they'll continue to talk to free agent outfielders such as Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross, and Conor Jackson, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Oakland's corner outfield depth chart currently features Josh Reddick, Collin Cowgill, and Michael Taylor after losing Josh Willingham and David DeJesus to free agency and trading Jai Miller and Ryan Sweeney.

Ludwick, 33, shouldn't cost much after a .237/.310/.363 performance in 2011.  Jackson had a similar line.  Ross was somewhat more useful at .240/.325/.405.  His asking price appears to have come down to the two-year, $10MM range.  Other unsigned outfielders include Rick Ankiel, Johnny Damon, J.D. Drew, Kosuke Fukudome, Scott Hairston, Brad Hawpe, Raul Ibanez, Magglio Ordonez, Luke Scott, and Ryan Spilborghs.

ESPN's Buster Olney writes today that some executives believe $40MM is the unofficial budget floor MLB and the union would like to see from teams.  As such, the Crisp signing may allow the A's to avoid a slap on the wrist.  Including projected salaries for Crisp, Brandon McCarthy, and Joey Devine, the A's appear to have about $33MM in commitments to 11 players.

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