Beane touches down on Wednesday


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It was another quiet day for the Athletics at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, which is not to say assistant general manager David Forst refused to make phone calls or receive them.

No news was, well, no news.

"I could make something up," he said at his daily media briefing at the Dolphin Hotel.

That being said -- but not done -- Forst summed up the second day of the four-day meetings by saying, "It was about normal. We've had conversations with teams and agents, some conversations more serious than others, but I have nothing earth-shattering for you."

He squelched a rumor that the Athletics and New York Mets were discussing a potential trade that would send starting pitcher Joe Blanton to the Mets for outfielder Lastings Milledge.

Forst said general manager Billy Beane has had telephone conversations with Mets GM Omar Minaya, "but there haven't been specific conversations about players. Billy has talked to Omar several times, mainly because Omar likes to make deals, but we haven't discussed any specific deals."

Asked if the A's would be reluctant to trade starting pitching, especially with the departure of left-hander Barry Zito to free agency, Forst said, "We would be open to any deal if it made sense."

Beane arrives from the Bay Area on Wednesday, which clears the way for a face-to-face session with Mike Piazza's agent, Dan Lozano, although it was not known whether a meeting has been planned.

"I have spoken to Billy a number of times today and relayed some of the conversations we've had," Forst said. "There are a couple of people we want to talk to when he's here."

Piazza, a free agent who could become the A's designated hitter, remains the hottest topic.

"I know Billy talked to [Lozano] today," Forst said. "It's an ongoing discussion."

As for trade talks, Forst said nothing seems imminent at the moment, but that could change in a hurry.

Asked if it would be unlikely to leave these meetings without making a deal, Forst said, "You never know. Things come up and happen quickly. I wouldn't say anything is imminent, but a lot can happen in 48 hours."

Jim Street is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.