With Spring Training reporting dates under a week away, I figured we'd do our A's Spring Training Preview, and get to know who will be playing where once spring games do get under way in March.
First of all, the A's started the offseason in sellers mode, trading away Trevor Cahill, Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez. However, since those deals, the A's have done what they do so well, add cheap, younger talent to take those guys places. I just watched "Moneyball" actually, and fell that the approach portrayed in that film is really coming out with this squad, as they've lost 3 of their more notable players and have replaced them with a plethora of lesser but valuable players in their own right. They also managed to hang onto Coco Crisp, which I thought was the oddest move they made this winter, judging by the fact he's a leadoff guy who doesn't get on base all that well, something they desire in Oakland. Anyway, here is the A's depth chart heading into spring training, assuming they don't add Many Ramirez, who I think would be a great draw for this squad:
Catchers: Kurt Suzuki, Derek Norris
Infielders: Daric Barton, Jemile Weeks, Cliff Pennington, Scott Sizemore, Adam Rosales, Kila Ki'aihue
Outfielders: Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Seth Smith, Johnny Gomes, Michael Taylor
DH: Chris Carter
Starters: Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross*, Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Parker
Relievers: Brian Fuentes, Joey Devine, Grant Balfour, Tommy Milone, Jerry Blevins, Fautino De Los Santos
Injured: LHP Brett Anderson (out until at least July), *RHP Tyson Ross (should be ready by opening day)
Now, again, there's still some time between now and when opening day rosters start to get accumulated, and there are still a few free agents who the A's may find interesting, especially on dirt cheap deals. I know they'd consider either Magglio Ordonez or Raul Ibanez and I believe either would be an upgrade to this roster. As is, they have Daric Barton and that Kila guy from KC battling it out at first, but another first basemen who could really help out is still waiting for a deal as well, and they should grab him up ASAP! The guy I wanted them to go after was Casey Kotchman, who got peanuts to go to Cleveland, despite sporting being a 28 year-old coming off a career year who had some pop, got on base and was a good first basemen. But now, the guy I'd turn to is Derek Lee. I think he's holding out for a contender, but he'd be such an upgrade over Barton it wouldn't even be funny. Just look what Lee did with Pittsburgh last season!