|C||Kurt Suzuki||SP 1||Ben Sheets|
|1B||Daric Barton||SP 2||Justin Duchscherer|
|2B||Mark Ellis||SP 3||Brett Anderson|
|3B||Kevin Kouzmanoff||SP 4||Trevor Cahill|
|SS||Cliff Pennington||SP 5||Dallas Braden|
|CF||Coco Crisp||CL||Andrew Bailey|
|RF||Ryan Sweeney||RP||Brad Ziegler|
|DH||Jack Cust||RP||Joey Devine|
|IF||Jake Fox||RP||Craig Breslow|
|IF||Eric Chavez||RP||Gio Gonzalez|
Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.
|Key Additions||Key Losses|
|3B||Kevin Kouzmanoff||Trade (SD)||OF||Aaron Cunningham||Trade (SD)|
|SP||Ben Sheets||Free Agency||OF||Scott Hairston||Trade (SD)|
|IF||Jake Fox||Trade (CHC)|
Top Prospects: Chris Carter (1B), Michael Taylor (OF), Michael Ynoa (P), Grant Green (SS), Max Stassi (C)
The Athletics came into the 2009 season with the hopes that they would be able to compete in what appeared to be a weakened AL West. They had made the blockbuster trade to acquire OF Matt Holliday in the offseason, and had made some potentially excellent value signings in SS Orlando Cabrera and 1B Jason Giambi. However, the team was once again decimated by injuries, and quickly fell out of contention. By July, the discussion was when the A’s would trade free-agent-to-be Matt Holliday, not if. They were able to get some solid return on trades including Holliday and SS Orlando Cabrera also.
The A’s did have some bright spots during the season. SP Josh Outman pitched well (4-1, 3.48) prior to getting hurt. SP Brett Anderson (11-11, 4.06) and SP Trevor Cahill (10-13, 4.63) both pitched well in their first full season. The standout, to be sure, was AL Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey (6-3, 1.84, 26 sv). On the offense, OF Rajai Davis (.305, 41 SB) and C Kurt Suzuki (.274, 15 HR) were the shining stars.
Team Outlook for 2010
As has been the problem in recent years, again coming into 2010 the A’s look strapped for offense. They are hopeful that IF Eric Chavez will be able to provide some production, whether it be at 3B or somewhere else on the diamond. They brought back OF/DH Jack Cust, who should continue to provide some solid power, even at the cost of a low batting average. A full season of SS Cliff Pennington and OF Rajai Davis will also be a welcome addition.
This really looks like a team that could compete, but only if everything falls their way. They need an All-Star caliber season out of free agent signee Ben Sheets, and improvements across the entirety of the pitching staff. They need 1B Daric Barton to return to the form that made him a top prospect. And they need pretty much everyone else in the lineup to improve again this season, whether it be through health or through better production. If this doesn’t happen, look for the A’s to deal Sheets, and potentially Justin Duchscherer as well at the trade deadline.
Fantasy Outlook for 2010
The A’s are a bit shallow when it comes to fantasy talent. C Kurt Suzuki, OF Rajai Davis, SP Brett Anderson and CL Andrew Bailey are probably the top talents. SP Ben Sheets remains a very high-upside, high-risk player, but could definitely pay off for fantasy owners. In deeper leagues, 2B Mark Ellis and SS Cliff Pennington could potentially provide value, as well as SP Dallas Braden and Justin Duchscherer.
Prediction for 2010
The A’s simply haven’t gotten better by enough in my opinion to make a legitimate run at the division title. The rest of the division is simply too much better at this point. They will do well to continue letting their top prospects develop, and hopefully will compete in 2011.
79-83, 4th in the AL West