2010 Record: 81-81
663 RS, 626 RA, Pythagorean Record: 86-76
Manager: Bob Geren
GM: Billy Beane
Grant Balfour, RP (2O, $8.1MM; TBD Club); Coco Crisp, OF ($5.75MM Club Option); Mark Ellis, 2B ($6MM Club Option); Brian Fuentes, RP (2, $10.5MM); Rich Harden, P (1, $1.5MM); Hideki Matsui, DH (1, $4.25MM); Brandon McCarthy, P (1, $1MM).
Minor League FA:
Joe Bateman, P; Fernando Cabrera, P; Matt Carson, OF; Vinnie Chulk, P; Vicmal de la Cruz, OF; Gabe DeHoyos, P; Willie Eyre, P; Adam Heether, OF; Andy LaRoche, 3B; Jai Miller, OF; Jonathan Ortiz, P; Wes Timmons, 3B.
Rule V Pick:
Received David DeJesus (OF) from the Royals for Justin Marks (P) and Vin Mazzone (SP); Received Dan Farquhar (P) and Tryston Magnuson (P) from the Blue Jays for Rajai Davis (OF); Received Ethan Hollingsworth (P) from the Rockies for Clayton Mortensen (SP); Received Ryan Kelly (P) from the Pirates for Corey Wimberly (2B)*; Received Guillermo Moscoso (P) from the Rangers for Ryan Kelly (P); Received Jose Rivero (OF) from the Diamondbacks for cash; Received Josh Willingham (OF) from the Nationals for Corey Brown (OF) and Henry Rodriguez (P).
*Kelly was traded days later.
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B (from the Blue Jays)*; Phil Humber, P (from the Royals)**.
* Encarnacion was non-tendered and signed back with the Blue Jays.
**Humber was placed on waivers again and selected by the White Sox
Jeff Baisley, 3B; Kristian Bell, P; Chris Berroa, OF; Travis Blackley, P; Boof Bonser, P; Cedrick Bowers, P; Oliver Box, C; Yeudy Brazoban, OF; Travis Buck, OF; Gernaldo Castillo, 2B; Eric Chavez, 3B; Kyle Christensen, P; Jack Cust, DH; Lenny DiNardo, P; Justin Duchscherer, P; Ryan Edell, P; Edwin Encarnacion, 3B; Joel Eusebio, 2B; Tommy Everidge, 1B; Elvis Garcia, OF; Archie Gilbert, OF; Derrick Gordon, P; Gabe Gross, OF; John Halama, P; Jeremy Hermida, OF; Fernando Hernandez, P; J.C. Holt, 2B; Phil Humber, P; Akinori Iwamura, 2B; Justin James, OF; Jason Jennings, P; Jeff Larish, 3B; Val Majewski, OF; Marcus McBeth, P; Dan McDaniel P; Dallas McPherson, 3B; Kyle Middleton, P; Gabriel Ortiz, C; Jose Pina, P; Brandon Pinckney, 3B; Jared Price, C; Anvioris Ramirez, P; Edwar Ramirez, P; Josue Selenes, P; Ben Sheets, SP; Ramon Soto, C; Brett Tomko, P; Alex Valdez, 3B; Matt Watson, OF; Matt Wright, P.
Top 15 Prospects
1. Grant Green, SS
2. Chris Carter, 1B
3. Michael Choice, OF
4. Tyson Ross, RHP
5. Max Stassi, C
6. Jemile Weeks, 2B
7. Yordy Cabrera, SS
8. Ian Krol, LHP
9. Michael Taylor, OF
10. Fautino de los Santos, RHP
11. Renato Nunez, 3B
12. Adrian Cardenas, 2B
13. Aaron Shipman, OF
14. Matt Thomson, RHP
15. Steve Parker, 3B
This system was kind of stagnant in 2010; no prospect really took a step forward. In fact, Chris Carter and Michael Taylor took steps back. Carter looked very bad in his first taste in the majors; he’s also learning the OF so he can crack the roster. Taylor struggled in his second stint in Triple A (the first in Oakland’s system). Grant Green still looks like a potential top line shortstop. I’m a big fan of Michael Choice; the outfielder is having a great spring. Tyson Ross may crack the rotation for Oakland, but will probably end up in the bullpen.
I’d have to say the 2010 season for Oakland was a success; they weren’t expect to do much but finished a distant second in the division.
Pitching-wise, they had strong years from Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro. Cahill looks like a potential ace and a perfect complement to a health Brett Anderson. Gio Gonzalez also took a step forward. Ben Sheets didn’t look as well and had his season ended early by injury (surprising, I know). Dallas Braden was a mixed bag; when not yelling at A-Rod and throwing a perfect game, he was hit or miss.
The problem, like the last few years, was the offense. Eric Chavez continued to battle injuries (surprising again). Kevin Kouzmanoff wasn’t able to hit like the team had hoped. Conor Jackson still couldn’t find what he had a few seasons ago.
This team really addressed their hitting, while improving the bullpen.
Adding David DeJesus, Josh Willingham, and Hideki Matsui will all add the offense that’s been lacking. Add in the continued improvement of Daric Barton and a full season from Coco Crisp, and this team should hit much better.
The rotation will see little changes. Mazzaro is gone, but he didn’t really have a place. Anderson, Cahill, Gonzalez, and Braden will continue to be the main components of the rotation. Former Athletic Rich Harden is battling for a rotation spot.
The bullpen has added Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes; both could be closers, but will set up current closer Andrew Bailey. Both pitchers are better than almost anyone Oakland used last year.
Overall, the team looks much better, but I don’t think they’ve added enough to win the division. A solid second should be expected.
From the Bloggers:
Philip Mo, Through the Fence Baseball: The Athletics come into 2011 with a more powerful offense, solid defense and deep pitching.
Coco Crisp and David DeJesus provides the balance you want at the top of the lineup. Crisp provides the speed and DeJesus provides the on-base percentage. In the middle of the lineup, new acquisitions Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham has the potential to hit 20 home runs or more. The A’s will need Daric Barton to provide more power without losing his plate discipline. Kurt Suzuki and Kevin Kouzmanoff will look to have bounce back years. Mark Ellis plays superb defense. The bench is solid with Ryan Sweeney and Conor Jackson, both were starters last season.
The top four starting pitchers are set with Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez. Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour will be primary set-up men for closer Andrew Bailey. If Fuentes and Balfour falters, Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow are waiting in the wings. The fifth starter is yet to be determined, but Josh Outman looks to have the inside track with Rich Harden injured.
With an improved offense and returning a majority of the pitching staff that led the American League in ERA last season, the A’s could make a run for the top in the AL West. The question is if they can stay healthy for a 162-game season.
Dave Sullivan, Through the Fence Baseball: Finally!!! This is one of the better club rosters I’ve seen for them since the early 2000′s, that being everyone stays healthy and injury free, could be a threat in the American League West. When I mention youth I mean it, Hideki Matsui is the oldest player on this team, and he was only was born in 1974. That may seem old in baseball years to some but with him at the DH spot, I think it’s safe to say that he will be with us for a while….we hope. As far as crafty veterans within the starting pitching and bullpen , we have guys like Rich Harden, Grant Balfour, Brian Fuentes, and Craig Breslow who can really set an example on and off the mound,not to mention 2009 Rookie Of The Year Andrew Bailey and the perfect game pitching performance of Dallas Braden as shining examples of what the future may offer on this pitching staff. Coco Crisp, Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus and Mark Ellis have also been around the diamond enough to guide this young staff to a possible pennant winning season by bringing some base stealing and good clutch hitting to the table. With Bob Geren as the skipper for his fifth season with A’s, should be a commanding force with this dynamic line up. Talks of Kevin Kouzmanoff going to The Seattle Mariners for Chone Figgins is the latest in trade rumors, but no deals yet. They look solid on paper, let’s wait and see how they are on the field for 2011.
Jason, Junkball: The Oakland A’s should be in position to win the AL West in 2011 with just the right mix of run scoring and run prevention after adding hitters David DeJesus, Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham and relievers Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes to a team that already boasted one of the best pitching staffs and defenses in the American League.
If the A’s can finally keep most of the roster off the disabled list there’s no reason they can’t improve on 2010′s second-place finish and make a strong run at the playoffs for the first time since reaching the ALCS in 2006.
Bee Hylinski, Contract Year: The Oakland A’s have positioned themselves over the winter to be a contender in 2011. The additions of Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham and David DeJesus should give some pop in the middle of the lineup, something that has been sorely lacking since 2006 with Frank Thomas. The bullpen has been strengthened with the additions of Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes. The starting rotation has Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Dallas Braden (he threw a perfect game in 2010), and Gio Gonzalez. Competition for the 5th spot will be between Brandon McCarthy, Rich Harden, and Josh Outman (out since 2009 following Tommy John surgery). Those who don’t make the starting rotation will move to the bullpen.
Some notables among the missing: Eric Chavez (option not exercised, signed to a minor league contract by the Yankees), the popular Rajai Davis (traded to the Blue Jays for 2 pitching prospects), Vin Mazzaro (who went to the Royals in the DeJesus trade), and the 100+ MPH throwing Henry Rodriguez (traded to the Nationals for Josh Willingham). Others let go were: Jack Cust (signed by Seattle), Gabe Gross, Travis Buck, and Justin Duchscherer.
The A’s have done a few other things right this year. They’ve held the ticket prices at 2009 prices for the last two seasons. The cost of parking also has not changed. It will be interesting to see if any changes, however small, have been made to the aging mausoleum known as the Oakland Coliseum. A’s fans are hopeful for a great season. Go A’s!