Having resolved all of their potential arbitration cases earlier this month, the A's have now moved into full-scale Geezer Acquisition Mode. Today, Oakland signed the formerly awesome 1B-DH Mike Sweeney to a minor league contract, a couple days after reeling in the formerly awesome reliever Keith Foulke.
Sweeney has been plagued by injuries (a perfect fit, then?) for years. He was a great player from 1999-2002, and a good one from 2003-2005, but hasn't done much in the last two years, playing a combined 124 games. He's probably best known to A's fans for hitting a three-run homer the A's 20th consecutive victory in 2002, setting up Scott Hatteberg's dramatics.
Is there room for Sweeney on the roster? Perhaps it's a sign that someone like Dan Johnson will soon be packing his bags for another team, to make room for Sweeney. You'd think that between Johnson, Daric Barton, and Jack Cust that most of the 1B-DH at-bats have been spoken for. But the incumbents are all left-handed batters, so perhaps adding a right-handed bat on the bench like Sweeney would have its uses, in the same vein as adding Emil Brown's right-handed bat to the outfield mix. The sad part about all the A's free agent dabblings this winter is that the A's were so hurting for right-handed bats, that they took to signing discards from the Kansas City Royals for help.