Many reporters were on hand to interview Chris Carter on Thursday at the A's preseason media day.
That shows interest remains high in the power-hitting outfielder, even as his stock appears to be low in the eyes of the A's brass.
No one in Oakland's front office has uttered a negative word about Carter, the team's top prospect a year ago. But the A's aggressive action this winter in trading for outfielders David DeJesus and Josh Willingham carried an unspoken statement on Carter's status.
After a late-season trial run as the starting left fielder. Carter is not viewed as the answer to the A's power-hitting woes. Or their answer in left field.
At least not yet.
"I'm still thinking it's my job to lose, basically," Carter said of left field. "It's a business. They want to win and make the team better. (Adding players) keeps it more competitive."
DeJesus and Willingham are projected to man the corner outfield spots around center fielder Coco Crisp, with Ryan Sweeney and Conor Jackson expected to be the fourth and fifth outfielders.
That scenario likely has Carter, 24, ticketed for Triple-A Sacramento to start the season for the second year in a row.
And while little debate has taken place about the positive impact of adding DeJesus and Willingham, Carter was once thought to make such acquisitions unnecessary.
But he hit .186 with three homers and seven RBIs in 70 at-bats with Oakland last season. After
"He just needs to keep getting experience," A's manager Bob Geren said. "Every level he's gone, he's struggled early and then figured it out and succeeded."
The A's pursued free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre this winter, and they claimed Edwin Encarnacion off waivers but didn't retain him. So clearly, they're not completely sold on Kouzmanoff.
Figgins, 33, hit just .259 as Seattle's second baseman last season, but he did steal 42 bases. He's played mostly third base in the past and could handle the position. But he also has $26 million left on his contract through 2013.