Dan Feinstein returned to the organization in late October as director of professional scouting and baseball development, but his position will encompass far more duties.
"I'm going to be assisting (general manager) Billy Beane and (assistant) David Forst in all aspects of baseball operations, from contracts to trade discussions," Feinstein said. "From what I understand, I'll be involved in everything."
Feinstein, 39, began his journey in baseball with the 1994 A's as the organization's video coordinator, eventually adding the title of assistant amateur scouting director. He moved to the Dodgers in 2005 as coordinator of baseball operations, then the next year landed in St. Petersburg as the Rays' director of baseball operations.
"Any time somebody has the opportunity to spend seven year with a general manager of the caliber of (the Rays') Andrew Friedman, who is one of the sharpest minds in the game, you can't help but absorb new information," Feinstein said. "With Andrew and the others there, you had no choice but to absorb new and different kinds of knowledge."
He will be returning home in many ways. Feinstein grew up in nearby Lafayette, Calif., where his parents still live. He graduated from UC Davis with a degree in medieval history. "I changed my major from political science to economics to medieval history, but I always knew I wanted to work in baseball," he said.
Freinstein's primary responsibility will be overseeing pro scouting, which is a combination of advance scouting other major league teams and scouting the minor leagues to keep apprised of talent in other organizations for potential trades and other acquisitions.
"We're going to have a pretty thorough advance scouting process," he said. "Whether that means a couple in the field or not is something we'll see."
The A's dropped their human advance scout last season and relied on electronic scouting, a move many teams have made in recent years. Feinstein said that evaluating whether that is the best direction will be a priority. "We'll talk to our coaches and see what's most important to them," he said.
• The A's promoted Chris Pittaro, pro scouting director for the last four years, to special assistant to Beane.
• The A's released center fielder Tyreace House, a sixth-round pick in 2008 who topped out at low Class A, where he batted .220/.348/.254 in two seasons.