LAS VEGAS — With most of the talk at the winter meetings surrounding possible roster moves, A's manager Bob Geren addressed some of his team's on-field issues Tuesday.
There's been curiosity about whether he'll turn to Joey Devine or Brad Ziegler to close games, and Geren said his plan is to alternate them depending on the situation.
Both turned in splendid rookie seasons for the A's bullpen. Ziegler assumed the closer's role from Huston Street in August and wound up setting a major league record with 39 scoreless innings to start his career.
Devine quietly fashioned an 0.59 ERA, the lowest single-season ERA in major league history for a pitcher with at least 40 innings.
"I felt with Ziegler's streak and him putting together a record-breaking performance, what gets lost is what Joey did," Geren said. "I feel comfortable with both of them."
A's GM Billy Beane said if the team adds a reliever via free agency, it likely would be a middle-inning guy. He didn't rule out bringing back Alan Embree, but Embree reportedly has agreed in principle to a one-year deal with Colorado.
Asked about newly acquired Matt Holliday, Geren said he likes the idea of batting the right-handed hitter between lefties Eric Chavez and Jack Cust but didn't clarify whether he'd hit Chavez or Cust third in that situation.
Beane said the A's likely will talk with Paul Kinzer, the agent for free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, before leaving Las Vegas.
Not earth-shattering stuff, considering Kinzer said he hoped to keep talks open after Furcal turned down a four-year offer from the A's last week. But the Dodgers are turning their focus toward bringing Furcal back to Los Angeles and have made an offer.
Toronto also is interested.
It was reported Tuesday that the A's have met with the agent for free agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera, but the fact he would cost the A's a second-round pick to sign makes that unlikely.
The A's interviewed Giants advance scout Rick Down for their hitting coach position Tuesday. The A's also have someone in mind for their bench coach spot, likely to come from within the organization.
— Joe Stiglich