The San Francisco Giants may have taken home the World Series title, but they weren’t the only team in the Bay Area to grab our collective attention last year. The Oakland A’s, of
Catfish Hunter Bash Brothers Moneyball regular baseball fame, had a great year and, in combination with a Texas collapse, rallied to actually win the AL West in 2012.
Let’s take a closer look at the A’s.
Major Off-Season Moves:
I think the Jaso and Lowrie trades were great deals for the A’s but, in typical fashion, they weren’t flashy this offseason. If Brad Pitt knows anything, it’s how to acquire players below market value. Side note: we discussed one of Jaso’s most important features here when the trade was made.
Now on to who is going to take the field this year.
Likely Starting Lineup:
Nobody here screams star to you – except Yeonis Cespedes. I’m excited to see what he does in his 2nd year and it’s not out of the question that he touches 30/30 this year if he stays healthy. Saying that, I think this lineup can easily be in the top half of the AL this year. If Coco Crisp can stay healthy, he is a good top of the lineup player. Then, when you look at 2-7, there isn’t a horrible spot in there. Moss, Reddick and Smith can all hit with some power and Jaso should continue to develop.
Likely Starting Rotation:
A’s fans should be very hopeful and pleased with this rotation. Starters 1-4 are younger players that should pitch well. Anderson and Parker show top of the rotation stuff. This is what the A’s seem to do, produce young pitcher and flip them for more talent from Mark Mulder to Gio Gonzalez. BF Bart Colon will be the caboose to the rotation and should eat plenty of innings and whatever else the A’s throw at him. Grant Balfour was set up to be the closer, but he suffered an injury and will be out for a while. Expect Ryan Cook to hold down the spot until Balfour returns, but it’s possible he never gives it up.
78-84, 3rd place in AL West
I think this a solid A’s team, but there is more talent in Texas and LA and the rest fo the American League has plenty of talent – well the AL East does. I don’t see a repeat of last year. There is some regression here and I don’t see that the A’s added enough in the off season to overcome that. I will award you with a classic Bash Brothers picture as your reward for making it to the end.