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Could Jason Motte end up in Oakland?

It's been pretty quiet on the Jason Motte front so far this off-season. But one Athletics blog speculates Oakland might be the place where the former St. Louis Cardinals closer ends up.

The Swingin' A's blog says it would be worth a gamble for the Athletics to sign Motte to a deal in hopes he regains the velocity he's lost from his fastball since undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2013.

It's certainly possible Motte, who by all accounts is a super-nice guy, could get his arm back in 2015. Everybody who has elbow ligament replacement surgery recovers at a different rate. But it's not a surprise when a hurler has a clunker of a season his first year back from such a major arm operation.

On the other hand, Motte is risky because his performance is so dependent on his fastball. He's always blown hitters away with the gas and relied on a cutter to try to keep batters from locking in on one pitch. If he never regains his heater, Motte doesn't have a whole lot to fall back on.

Otherwise, the Cardinals might like to bring Motte back. 

Instead, they'll hope that incumbent closer Trevor Rosenthal's inconsistent 2014 season was a fluke and that the fireballing youngster can regain the command that made him dominant late in 2013.