Sarris: Q&A with David Forst, Oakland A’s assistant GM

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on December 11, 2014:

David Forst was appointed to his current position in February of 2004 after serving as an assistant to the general manager and coordinator of professional scouting for the Oakland Athletics. His primary duties include assisting Billy Beane in all player acquisitions, contract negotiations and player evaluations. He agreed to sit down and talk at baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego, California.

Eno Sarris: A lot of people are asking: What are the Athletics doing? Here’s a different version: Was there a plan for the offseason, was there an overarching idea, or is it always just “Get better, piece by piece”?

David Forst: There’s definitely a plan. We certainly spend the first couple of weeks after the year, when the season ends, talking on a macro level about what direction we should go. The specifics of who to trade and who to target don’t necessarily come into focus until a little bit later in the offseason, but certainly the plan is talked about immediately. And frankly, it was probably something we talked about in September, before the season was over.

I think Billy [Beane, General Manager] has articulated in a couple of places that we knew that just bringing back the current team, assuming the losses of [Jon] Lester, and [Luke] Gregerson, and [Jed] Lowrie and some of those guys that we didn’t have an opportunity to sign — bringing back that team wasn’t going to work. The Angels were obviously 11 games better than us and the Mariners were right on our tail, and poised to get better. Just bringing back our group and just supplementing it with little pieces, wasn’t going to give us a chance to compete, and was also going to leave us further down the path of having an older, more injury-prone club, frankly.

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Originally published: December 11, 2014. Last Updated: December 11, 2014.