Thursday, January 25, 2007
A's, Kielty agree to $2.1 million, 1-year deal
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics all but completed
their roster heading into spring training, agreeing Thursday with
outfielder Bobby Kielty on a $2.1 million, one-year contract that
Kielty will likely be primarily a backup outfielder again for
the A's, with Nick Swisher slated to start in left field, Mark
Kotsay in center and Milton Bradley in right. Kielty, who is
strongest against left-handed pitchers, batted .270 with eight home
runs and 36 RBIs in 81 games for AL West champion Oakland last
His contract includes up to $100,000 in performance bonuses --
$25,000 each for 300, 350, 400 and 450 plate appearances. His
batting average last year was the second highest of his career
after he hit .291 in 2002.
"It's a happy day. I'm definitely pleased to get it done,"
Kielty said in a phone interview.
Kielty made 40 starts in left field and 27 in right as one of an
Oakland-record five players to make at least 60 outfield starts.
New manager Bob Geren said at a luncheon Thursday that he likes
the depth of his club and doesn't plan to change a lot from a team
that won 93 games and the division, then advanced to the AL
championship series with a first-round sweep of the Minnesota
Twins. The A's were then swept by the Detroit Tigers in four games.
"I feel we have some flexibility, we have some talent and we
have some players who can play multiple positions," said Geren,
promoted from bench coach in November to replace Ken Macha. "I
feel positive about it."
Kielty, who has added lean muscle to his frame this winter
through his workouts and a high-protein diet, hopes he will get his
chances in 2007. He said he feels as strong as he ever has.
"It's good to hear," he said of Geren's words. "I think I
should be hitting against left-handed pitching most of the time and
probably against righties who I have good matchups with. That's
kind of how it's been last year and the year before. I don't see it
changing too much. Whoever's swinging the bat the best is probably
going to play."
Oakland's pitchers and catchers report to the team's Phoenix
facility Feb. 16.
Geren said shortstop Bobby Crosby has begun to regain strength
in his troublesome back, which sidelined the 2004 AL Rookie of the
Year in late August for the remainder of the season and the
While Crosby could be limited early in spring training, Geren
expects him to be ready by opening day.
"Obviously, we need him in April," Geren said. "If he needs
to be limited early, we'll go that route."
Rich Harden, the projected ace of the pitching staff now that
Barry Zito moved across the bay to join the Giants, has been
throwing about three days a week in Arizona.
He also is eager to get started after an injury-shortened
season. He returned for the ALCS, falling behind early in Game 3.
Harden was pitching for the first time since the final day of
the regular season Oct. 1, which was his third start back after
missing more than three months with a strained ligament in his
"If he's healthy, he's always been a dominant guy," Geren