Former Brewers coach joins A's - Baseball Forum - MLB Forum - Fantasy & College Baseball Forums
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Former Brewers coach joins A's

"Questions remain as to what the A's roster will look like when the team reports to spring training.

At least we know what the coaching staff will look like. Jim Skaalen was brought on board as hitting coach and Todd Steverson was promoted from the minors to be the new first-base coach. Tye Waller, a member of the A's staff since Bob Geren took over as manager in 2007, will slide into the bench coach role.

The moves were necessitated when former bench coach Don Wakamatsu was hired as the Seattle Mariners' new manager Nov. 19. Wakamatsu hired away then-A's hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo to join his staff.

Skaalen, 54, will be looked upon to make the biggest impact. Last season the A's finished last in the majors in team batting average and slugging percentage. They also set a franchise record with 1,226 strikeouts.

Skaalen served as Milwaukee's hitting coach for the past two seasons, during which time the Brewers' led the majors with 231 homers in 2007 and ranked fifth with 198 in 2008. Those teams featured boppers such as Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.

The A's are trying to rope in a slugger of their own. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that the A's could begin contract talks with free-agent first baseman/DH Jason Giambi this week.

Giambi's agent, Arn Tellem, said in an e-mail Monday that he won't discuss teams who are interested in his clients right now. The A's, as a policy, don't comment on free agents

they're pursuing.

But when asked how a first baseman/DH-type hitter might suit his team, A's general manager Billy Beane said supply seems to outweigh demand for free agents who could fill such a role.

"There are still some decent bats out there, maybe more bats than there are teams that need those bats," Beane"

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