NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A's general manager Billy Beane sat back comfortably in a suite high above the crowded lobby at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, content with letting the offseason process play out.

As other teams scramble to fill pitching staffs, the A's have a surplus of quality young starters that they intend on keeping. While rivals bid on outfielders, the A's have at least four -- Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Chris Young -- who are scheduled to get 400-plus at-bats. The reigning American League West champions feel similarly set at most spots in the infield, but Beane is poised to pounce if the right fit comes along at one important position.

The A's still are in need of an everyday shortstop and are eyeing two in particular: Stephen Drew, who was acquired last season but now is a free agent, and Hiroyuki Nakajima, a Japanese veteran.

"You want to get the best player you can -- it's a critical position," Beane said. "You have a chance to significantly improve your club if you get the right guy (at shortstop)."

Drew was the right fit last season, stabilizing the position after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks in August. In an extremely shallow shortstop market, the 29-year-old Drew is far and away the most attractive option, and Beane plans to touch base with Drew's agent, Scott Boras, during his time in Nashville.


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Nakajima, 30, is known as a top-notch fielder and hit .311 with 13 homers for the Seibu Lions last season in Japan.

"We've talked about him," manager Bob Melvin said. "We do know quite a bit about him. I'm sure there will probably be quite a few suitors."

The paucity of quality shortstops on the market might leave Beane in a familiar spot, scouring the trade market. The Cleveland Indians are reportedly ready to clean house, leaving Asdrubal Cabrera (.270, 16 homers) as an intriguing option for any club willing to meet the right price. A cheaper option could be Yunel Escobar (.353 career on-base percentage), who was acquired by the Miami Marlins in last month's blockbuster deal with the Toronto Blue Jays and already is back on the trading block.

Beane said the trade market could present more options than free agency, but regardless of which route he takes, the A's have one requirement. With 2012 first-round pick Addison Russell on the way, the A's aren't looking for a long-term solution.

With few other roster holes to fill, Beane is happy to wait until that right fit comes along.

Follow Alex Pavlovic on Twitter at twitter.com/AlexPavlovic.