Originally written November 13, 2013 on Bay Sports Report:
The Oakland Athletics have signed Nick Punto to a one year deal to add more depth to their infield and to the batting order.  Punto spent the majority of his time with the Minnesota Twins but has bounced around the last couple seasons from the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He is a career .248 switch hitter but he excels against left-handed pitchers which will serve the team great as Manager Bob Melvin loves to mix and match the line-ups on a daily basis. Expect there to be more pickups and trades before the beginning of next season, but according to the assistant general manager, the team is not looking to trade shortstop Jed Lowrie.  The more likely scenario would be to shop Alberto Callaspo who has severely underperformed especially for the almost 5 million dollars the team is set to pay him next year. Josh Donaldson seems to have third base anchored down so if he can remain healthy and continue his productivity he should remain the starter.  Brandon Moss, Nate Freiman, and Daric Barton will be taking turns at first base depending on the opposing pitcher and play early in the season.  Jed Lowrie and hopefully soon, top prospect Addison Russell will be taking the field at shortstop and that should be interesting to see how he develops further.  Most likely Punto will win the starting position for second base sharing time with Eric Sogard and Callaspo. Punto may be the veteran the A’s was missing last season to help raise the team to the next level.  His World Series experience is something that can help mold these young players into championship caliber contenders.  Plus it won’t hurt to show these kids a World Series ring to get them just a little bit more fired up.

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