OAKLAND -- A's general manager Billy Beane said Friday that he sees the bulk of this year's American League West championship team returning in 2013.
Speaking a day after the A's were knocked out of the postseason by Detroit, Beane said he thinks the foundation is in place to continue building on a surprising 94-win season.
"I think we're in great shape," Beane said. "The satisfying thing about the crowd's response to this team last night was they're gonna get to see this team, by and large, next year. If there's moves made, the idea would be additions.
"I've had situations where we had great seasons and I knew the team wasn't gonna be back (because of) free agency and things like that. (The goal is) to try and continue the momentum in the winter. We should be able to build on this next year."
The A's still have roster decisions to make, and one of the main ones is whether to bring back shortstop Stephen Drew. He and the A's hold a $10 million mutual option for next season, and if both sides don't exercise that, he'll become a free agent.
Beane and manager Bob Melvin both said they would like outfielder Jonny Gomes, another potential free agent, to return based on his importance as a clubhouse leader.
Beane also said he considers closer Grant Balfour an important piece to bring back. The A's hold a $4.5 million option on Balfour, and the reliever said he hopes to return to Oakland.
For his part, Melvin said he was