DALLAS -- The A's have a decision to make regarding their outfield.
They're in rebuilding mode but aren't convinced that a highly touted, yet unproven, prospect such as Michael Taylor is ready for an everyday job.
So they're open to signing low-cost free agents, but playing those types of veterans might block Taylor or other prospects from getting a legitimate opportunity.
It's clear the A's must acquire some outfield depth because they could lose all three starters from last season to free agency. David DeJesus already is gone, and Josh Willingham and Coco Crisp could soon be.
How they sort out their final mix of outfielders will be one of their biggest chores come spring training.
"There's an opportunity for them to prove (themselves)," A's general manager Billy Beane said of his young outfielders.
Oakland could target outfielders via trade, but as the second day of the winter meetings wrapped up Tuesday, they were not close to completing any deals.
"There's nothing imminent," said Beane, who was scheduled to catch a flight out of Dallas on Tuesday night.
The meetings end Thursday.
The A's currently have four outfielders on their 40-man roster, and only Ryan Sweeney has more than 28 games of major league experience. Taylor and Jai Miller have combined for 39 games, and Jermaine Mitchell -- who might be sidelined at the start of spring training because of knee surgery -- has yet to make his big league
As the roster stands, Beane said he envisions Sweeney as his right fielder but is less certain who will play left and center.
Taylor, who will be 26 later this month, is the most puzzling candidate. The A's raved about his tools upon acquiring him from Toronto in December 2009, but he has hit .272 and averaged 11 homers and 71 RBIs over two seasons with Sacramento, hardly dominant numbers. He made his big league debut in September and hit .200 with one homer in 11 games.
"I think he might be more of a fourth outfielder," said one scout who has watched Taylor extensively. "I'm not sure they know what they have yet."
Beane said the A's won't rush outfielders Grant Green or Michael Choice, the team's first-round picks in 2009 and 2010. But manager Bob Melvin spoke highly of Choice and said he thinks it's possible Choice could taste the majors in 2012.
In trade news, the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres were among the teams the A's held discussion with Tuesday regarding closer Andrew Bailey. It's thought that Boston would part with outfielders Ryan Kalish or Josh Reddick as part of a package for Bailey, but it will likely take higher-profile prospects for the A's to pull the trigger.
Word is the A's have talked with Texas and asked for one of the Rangers' top three prospects -- shortstop Jurickson Profar, left-hander Martin Perez or third baseman Mike Olt -- who the Rangers weren't willing to part with.
One team no longer targeting Bailey is Toronto, which obtained Sergio Santos from the Chicago White Sox and plans to install him at closer.
There's thought that action could be taken on the A's ballpark situation in January at the next owners' meetings. Reinsdorf is considered to have sway among owners, who can vote to overturn the Giants' territorial rights to San Jose.