Crosby asks A's brass to trade him
Incumbent Oakland shortstop wants to start for a different club
PEORIA, Ariz. -- In the wake of the A's signing of free agent Orlando Cabrera, incumbent shortstop Bobby Crosby met with Oakland's brass on Friday and told them what he'd previously said publicly: that he wants to be traded to a team that needs a starting shortstop.
"I've talked about it with them. They know where I stand. I want to be a regular shortstop somewhere," Crosby told MLB.com on Saturday morning in the clubhouse at Phoenix Municipal Stadium before the bus left for the game against the Padres in Peoria. "That's not going to change. And while I'm here and I'm not playing, I told them I'm going to be busting my butt for the club."But I still think I can be a shortstop somewhere. Ideally, that's what I want to do. In the meantime, I'm under contract with the A's. I'm going to go out there and play for my teammates here. And play hard for them." The meeting included Crosby, manager Bob Geren, general manager Billy Beane and assistant GM David Forst. It came on Friday morning, just prior to the team making the formal announcement that Cabrera and Nomar Garciaparra had signed one-year contracts. Garciaparra, like Crosby, is supposed to have a backup infield role. But unlike Crosby, Garciaparra, a former All-Star shortstop, played third base and first base as recently as last year with the Dodgers. Crosby has never played a position other than shortstop as a professional. "Bobby is going to work with Mike Gallego and learn as many other positions as possible to try to help his chances of getting in the lineup," Geren said on Saturday morning, confirming that he was at the meeting. When asked about Crosby's long-term situation, Geren said that was not his area. "My concern is he makes himself as much of an all-around player as possible to help out the team," Geren said. Crosby, the 2004 American League Rookie of the Year, is entering the final year of a contract that guarantees him a $5.25 million salary this season. The A's could release him, but they'd have to pay his 2009 salary. If they don't move him to another team, he could wind up backing up Cabrera and second baseman Mark Ellis. Cabrera is pretty durable and played in 161 games for the White Sox last season. Ellis, though, is still recovering from offseason right shoulder surgery and has yet to play a spring game in the field. To that end, Crosby went out and took grounders at second base on Saturday and will continue to work at it as Cabrera and Garciaparra work their way into game shape, which will take at least a week. All of this doesn't make Crosby, the A's starting shortstop when not injured for the past five seasons, feel any better. "I understand the whole process as it goes along," Crosby said. "I understand I cleared waivers. I understand they have to do something. I'm just going to wait and see. I'm not going to bash the A's. They just decided to move on. It's as plain and simple as that. I don't have to be happy with it. In fact, if I was, they'd probably think something was wrong."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.