A's look to bolster 'pen as GM Meetings open – MLB.com

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Beane and A’s general manager David Forst arrived Monday at the General Managers Meetings, a three-day affair that often allows baseball executives from around the game to lay groundwork for deals. Sometimes, they’re consummated on the spot.

“We’ve already had plenty of conversations with teams,” Forst said Monday. “You look at our roster, we’d like to make some additions in the bullpen through trades or free agency. We need to continue to support a young starting staff.”

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A right-handed-hitting outfielder is also on the A’s wish list, Forst said, intimating that he expected conversations with potential targets to pick up in the coming weeks. However, the biggest area of concern is the bullpen.

At season’s end, it was made clear that the A’s would seek a setup man and a left-handed specialist to fill the void left by the departures of veterans Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle in a July trade with Washington.

“We need more depth,” Forst said. “Obviously, trading Sean and Ryan hurt some of the depth down there and if you’re going to have a young starting staff and ask a lot of them, you want to be able to support them when they give you a lead.”

A young A’s rotation collectively struggled, posting a 4.74 ERA and tallying just 877 2/3 innings. The bullpen was subsequently overworked and outdone. A relief group that compiled a 4.57 ERA was asked to work 553 1/3 innings, seventh-most in the American League.

The rotation’s disappointing performance, the A’s hope, can largely be attributed to growing pains. The team plans to stick with their young arms entering

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