Over the years, the Oakland Athletics have had a tendency to recruit former Red Sox players and these players usually find success in Oakland. Some of the well known former Sox members on the 2013 Athletics team were Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, and Josh Reddick. Now that the offseason has officially begun for all MLB teams, will there be any of the now-World Series Champions headed to Oakland for the 2014 season?
The Athletics are in need of a better shortstop – sorry Lowrie – and one name flying around the rumor mill is the Red Sox’ Stephen Drew. Even though there is no evidence that the Athletics want Drew, baseball analysts believe that he would be a good fit for Oakland.
With the Red Sox, Drew hit .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI. Even though Lowrie had better numbers than Drew this year, Drew has a better arm and defensive skills, which was obvious when watching the World Series. If Lowrie moved to second – bumping out Eric Sogard who just did not produce much this season – then Drew could step into the shortstop position.
Besides Drew, there do not seem to be anymore Red Sox from the current team that would join the Athletics in 2014 due to their high demand and expensive contracts unless the A’s want yet another catcher and believe that Jarrod Saltalamacchia would be a good fit.
However, I think the Athletics would make a great choice by acquiring third baseman Kevin Youkilis, beloved former Red Sock who went to the Chicago White Sox in 2012 and finally landed with in New York with the Yankees for the 2013 season. In the 28 games he was able to play before he underwent back surgery, Youkilis was hitting .219 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI.
It is unlikely that the Yankees will take Youk back for 2014 even though he is now healthy. Since the Athletics have only one quality third baseman – Josh Donaldson – and only one backup third baseman in Alberto Callaspo, Youkilis could provide some great hitting power and veteran defensive skills. He would be a great addition to the Oakland Athletic dugout and would feel at home playing with some of his old teammates from the Sox.
Lastly, there is left fielder Jason Bay. Even though Bay was only with the Red Sox for two short stints in 2008 and 2009, there is a possibility of the A’s signing him for a very inexpensive, short term contract, which the Athletics’ tend to like.
Even though he did not play well in 2013 with a .204 batting average over 68 games, it might make sense to put All Star Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes, who usually plays left field, in the DH position and leave the outfield to Bay. This is probably a long shot deal but definitely something to consider, especially since the Athletics tend to magically make the bats of unknown, down-and-out players come alive.
Former Red Sox players always seems make their way across the country and eventually land in the Coliseum. This year could be no different.
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