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 enduring an 0-for-19 funk in August and returning to the minors, he looked more comfortable upon his return. He hit two homers with five RBIs in his final four games.

"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."

  • Despite the A's busy offseason, indications are that they might not be done shaping the roster. A source with knowledge of the situation said the A's are trying to trade for Seattle infielder Chone Figgins, and that current A's third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and perhaps a pitcher could be shipped to the Mariners in return.

    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.

  • Geren said he hasn't decided on his batting order, but he wants to use the right-handed hitting Willingham to break up a glut of lefties near the top of the lineup. One likely look would have the switch-hitting Crisp leading off, lefties Daric Barton and DeJesus hitting second and third, with Willingham cleanup and lefty Hideki Matsui fifth. "... Willingham was one of several A's at media day displaying the bright gold jerseys the A's will use as alternate home jerseys, replacing their black ones. The gold jerseys are trimmed in green with the A's emblem on the left side of the chest. His impressions of the gold? "I think it blinded me a little bit." "... The A's have made a bid to buy their flagship radio station KTRB, but vice president of communications Ken Pries said he has no idea when to expect to hear final word.