Lew Wolff, the public face of the A's ownership group, said Tuesday he hopes the ballclub "thinks twice'' before bringing in veteran power hitters as it did this season.
The last-place team signed Jason Giambi, 38, and Nomar Garciaparra, 35, and traded for Matt Holliday, 29, in the offseason to help bolster an anemic offense.
The A's traded Holliday, who batted .286 with the club, to St. Louis in late July. They released oft-injured Giambi on Aug. 7 after he hit .193. Garciaparra, a designated hitter, was batting .267 in 120 at-bats before Tuesday's play.
"The pitching was fine but not the hitting," said Wolff, who also reiterated his desire to move the team to San Jose. "We didn't think we'd be more than a .500 ballclub this year, but the division is so weak we thought we'd have a chance."
The idea, Wolff said, was to give Oakland's promising young pitchers enough offensive support to gain a year's maturity.
Despite the cheerless record of 53-65, the owner isn't discouraged.
"The year before this, we sat down and said, 'Look, we need to rebuild,'"" Wolff recalled of plans to develop the minor-league system. "This is all done deliberately, quietly. Certain fans see it, other fans don't."