Oakland A's Notes: All In The Bay Family

Oakland A's assistant general manager David Forst said "anything is possible" when asked about the team's pursuit of free agent Barry Bonds, and if Bonds somehow ended up across the bay in Oakland, it would be fitting for the Bay Area sports scene.

After all, Norv Turner was fired by the Oakland Raiders as head coach and moved across the bay to be the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator.

The Raiders brought back Art Shell as head coach and the Golden State Warriors brought back Don Nelson, each more than 10 years after they were fired, while the A's re-hired Ken Macha last year about 10 days after parting ways with him.

The Giants are known for once having all three Alou brothers in the same outfield, but all three also played for the A's and two of them won a World Series with Oakland. Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey had brief flings with the A's late in their careers.

Joe Morgan, who was born in Oakland, went from the Giants to the Phillies to the A's. Dusty Baker's playing career went from the Dodgers to the Giants to the A's, before he became the Giants' hitting coach a year after retiring.

Still, for Bonds to sign with the A's would top them all because of how good he is, and how much off-the-field drama he brings with the BALCO scandal.

The A's took chances last year with all three of their biggest acquisitions -- pitcher Esteban Loaiza, designated hitter Frank Thomas and outfielder Milton Bradley -- because each had a reputation, fair or not, for bringing emotional baggage to a clubhouse.

It worked out with all three. No clubhouse problems at all. The A's fun, welcoming clubhouse was the perfect place for Bradley, and that no doubt helps assure general manager Billy Beane that Bonds would fit in seamlessly.

A's players have always admired Bonds from afar and expressed no problem with him joining their team.

"What he does is incredible," second baseman Mark Ellis said. "He'd put people in the seats. We don't see him a lot, but I know he's got a lot left. He's impressive as a player. I don't care how old he is."

As it stands now, however, the A's are looking at a number of other options, including OF Cliff Floyd and C Mike Piazza. Giants OF Moises Alou was one of the free agents the A's were pursuing as a possible replacement for DH Frank Thomas, but he signed with the Mets.

The A's also made a move on Monday to attempt to shore up their starting rotation. Oakland placed a bid for Japanese lefty Kei Igawa before the Monday 2 p.m. deadline, according to reports in the San Francisco Chronicle. A number of teams, including the New York Mets, are believed to have bid on Igawa, so it may be a long-shot for the A's to come out on top of that bidding war. The A's are looking to replace Barry Zito in their starting rotation. Zito is expected to sign with either the Mets or the Angels.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Number of coaches new manager Bob Geren needs to fill out his coaching staff. Geren, who will be a rookie manager, said prior managing experience is not a requirement for the bench coach, a job he held last season. He'd rather have somebody who knows the American League really well.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Frank made it clear he had a goal as far as a contract was concerned. We knew it was a possibility with the money out there that somebody would pay him more than we'd be able to match. Ultimately, Frank made the decision. We made an offer we thought was competitive and fit with our budget." -- A's assistant GM David Forst, about the departure of free agent DH Frank Thomas to the Blue Jays.

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