A's Green Ready To Compete For Big League Time





OAKLAND—There appears to be a big battle brewing for spring training, and Grant Green plans to insert himself right in the middle of the action.

The A's expect to have an opening at second base for the 2013 season, and Green refuses to let anyone forget that he is a candidate for the job. The former shortstop and outfielder attended the Arizona Fall League to learn the position, and he is spending his offseason working on the nuances.

"He embraced a third trip to the Fall League to learn the skill," farm director Keith Lieppman said. "Most guys would not be happy about going for the third time, but he embraced it. That says a whole lot about his character and desire to get there. I admire him for doing that. He said, 'I'll do whatever it takes to get to the big leagues. If this is the road you think will help me, I'll do it.'"

The competition could be intense for the position. Jemile Weeks owned the job for most of 2012 but struggled with both the bat and glove before being sent to Triple-A. Scott Sizemore returns from injury, and other in-house candidates will include Adam Rosales and Eric Sogard. Green believes his time in Arizona has helped him learn.

"I think it went well," said Green, who the A's recently added to their 40-man roster. "I went down there to learn second base . . . I was able to grasp all the different things that went into it, like turning two, the different positioning. It was a good thing for me to go."

He plans to spend more time during the offseason working with his friend, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, to further improve his glovework.

Green, 25, has been battling since the A's made him the 13th player selected in the 2009 draft. His bat has impressed, but the problem has been finding a position for the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder. He had been expected to be the shortstop of the future, but the A's determined that he lacked the arm strength to make the long throw. So they gave him time in the outfield, then at third base. He has diligently worked to learn the positions, with his bat continuing to keep him a solid prospect.

The A's had expected Weeks to own second for the foreseeable future, but his struggles in '12 led to reconsideration and Green was moved to the position that may be his best natural fit. Green's versatility could also make him an asset, since he can fill in at different positions.

"It could be the type of thing where once I get there (the majors), I stay there, Green said. "Playing different positions can help with that. It's going to come sooner or later; it's just a matter of time."

A's Acorns

• Coaches Rick Magnante and Craig Lefferts spent part of their offseason in South Africa working with that country's national team and teaching baseball. Pitching coordinator Scott Emerson toured Europe working in clinics.

• The A's sent righty Graham Godfrey to the Red Sox to acquire reliever Sandy Rosario, though Rosario then went back to Boston on a waiver claim. Godfrey has performed well in the minors, and several members of the staff expect him to become an effective big league starter.