Now that the Mark Kotsay/Ramon Hernandez deal has been completed the A’s are targeting a young catcher like Josh Bard, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. And Bard might be available. Victor Martinez seems ready to start at catcher next year and Tim Laker recently signed a major-league contract for 2004 to serve as Martinez’ backup. This seemingly leaves Bard as the odd man out.
Mark Shapiro has said that a top priority this off-season will be to acquire an inexpensive second baseman to hold the position until Brandon Phillips is ready. The A’s might be a good match for Cleveland, as they have a 26-year-old second baseman with excellent on-base skills sitting in AAA just waiting for an opportunity.
Esteban German, who was once considered the 2B of the Future for the A’s, has been surpassed by Mark Ellis in the eyes of top brass and might be available for Bard. He has excellent speed and could fit nicely atop the Indians lineup in 2004.