Russ Springer? Is this as good as it gets?

The A's have had a fairly encouraging offseason so far by adding Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi to what was an utterly worthless offense in 2008 which is great because the Angels look ripe for the taking in the AL West after playing over their heads last season and losing slugger Mark Teixeira and closer Francisco Rodriguez this winter.

Combine that with the fact that there are still some very good free agents on the market probably willing to work for a reasonable price and everything seems to be lining up for the A's to add another hitter or a veteran starter to the roster.

So who have the A's snagged now?  40-year-old relief pitcher Russ Springer for $3 million.

Should I start chilling the champagne now?  Should I shift gears and start saving up for World Series tickets instead of my kid's college education?

I think I'll keep those plans on hold for a little while.

I'm all for adding veteran players to the roster since the A's are still in rebuilding mode and could use someone to set a good example for the kids but why bring in Springer at this price?  Relief pitchers are a dime a dozen so why shell out millions of dollars for one?

Hopefully Springer won't be the last addition to the A's before Opening Day and that $3 million won't end up being the extra bit of cash GM Billy Beane wishes he had when some free-agent bargains are still available in a month or so.

It'll be a shame if that $3 million is all it would have taken to sweeten the pot to lure one more hitter or a proven starting pitcher to Oakland.

* Bring on spring training!
  It's just a matter of weeks before pitchers and catchers start reporting to spring training and I couldn't be more excited.  The AL West should be up for grabs and the A's look like they could make some noise in the division; fantasy baseball is right around the corner; former A's great Rickey Henderson is heading to the Hall of Fame; and I already have tickets to take my little son to his first game on Rickey Henderson Day in August.  How sweet is that?

* Speaking of the soon-to-arrive rug rat,
where did the time go?  It seems like just yesterday my wife was enthusiastically showing me the results of her home pregnancy test and now the arrival date in April is right around the corner.  It seems like when I was a kid 3-month summer vacations lasted forever and now 9 months fly by in the blink of an eye.  At this pace the kid will be in college before I know it.

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