Despite being the most active team in this still early offseason, the Oakland A’s are still interested (as they should be) in adding an impact hitter or two. The A’s recently claimed 3B Edwin Encarnacion off waivers from the Blue Jays, but rumors are swirling around the team’s interest in DH Lance Berkman.
Berkman, 34, served primarily as a DH during his stint with the Yankees this year, and the A’s could be one of the teams interested in Berkman’s services. In 122 games this season (37 with NYY), Berkman hit .248/.368/.413 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs. While Berkman’s production has been on the decline in recent years—he struggled mightily against lefties this year—the A’s could certainly benefit from his presence in the lineup if they can sign him for the right price.
The A’s hit a total of 109 home runs this season (28th in MLB), and are in dire need of some power. A’s GM Billy Beane has said in the past that the offense needs help, so it’s hard to imagine the A’s are completely finished making deals this offseason. If the A’s can add a guy like Berkman to the lineup, the team could become serious contenders in 2011.
Then again, adding someone like Berkman could contradict the A’s whole theme of going young. Remember Jason Giambi’s homecoming in 2009? Or how about the Big Hurt’s second-coming to Oakland?
The A’s could always try trading for an impact player, so they don’t have to waste time persuading players that Oakland is the perfect place to play. The A’s have plenty of pitching, and trading for someone like Matt Kemp could do wonders for their anemic offense. The A’s still have plenty of time to address their offensive needs, but with the way things are looking, they should have no problem doing so.