Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane has expressed his desire to re-sign a trio of players that were key to the team’s surprise success in 2012: outfielder Jonny Gomes, right-hander Brandon McCarthy and closer Grant Balfour, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Beane expects most of #Athletics back next year, wants to keep group together.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 12, 2012
That includes Gomes, likely McCarthy. Beane hints strongly that Balfour option will be picked up. "Some things are no-brainers." #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 12, 2012
The 34-year-old Balfour will be the easiest to retain with his $4.5 million club option for 2013. For Gomes and McCarthy, the team will likely look to negotiate deals within the exclusive negotiating time they get with the impending free agents.
Gomes, 31, put together his best season since 2005 with Oakland this year, hitting .262/.377/.491 with eighteen home runs in ninety-nines games at designated hitter and in the corner outfield spots. Signed to a minuscule one-year, $1 million contract in the offseason, Gomes is likely looking at a nice raise.
McCarthy, 29, was having another stellar season in Oakland before he was sidelined with a serious head injury in September. McCarthy is expected to make a full recovery from the epidural hematoma he suffered when he took a line drive to the back of the head, and A's have to hope he can continue to put up his great numbers. In two years with Oakland, McCarthy has a 3.29 ERA and 6.3 K/9 in just over two hundred eighty innings of work.