Well, well, well it has been quite the offseason for the Oakland A’s. Going in, I expected a good amount of roster turnover. I accepted that 2012 would begin with an entirely new outfield as the A’s lost Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham, and David DeJesus to greener pastures and more money. I even accepted that it made sense to trade closer Andrew Bailey, who is a stellar, yet often injured, pitcher and is at least another player I can cheer for on the Red Sox apart from Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. However, the A’s also traded promising young pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez. The Diamondbacks acquisition of Cahill after receiving Brad Ziegler at the trade deadline last year further cemented their place as my favorite NL team, while the Nationals look to be exciting with Strasburg coming back from injury, plus Gio, giving them a formidable rotation to go along with a solid offense. However, the moves kind of hurt from the perspective of an A’s fan (My perspective!). I spent the last 2-3 years watching Trevor and Gio grow into the pitchers that they are today and to see them traded away, while it makes sense considering the offense is not nearly ready to compete and a restocking of the farm system was needed, signaled that yes, yes indeed, this was going to be a rebuilding season in Oakland.
Here is a link to a list of the A’s current 40-man roster, not that I think the A’s are necessarily done making moves. If you have not been following the A’s in-depth you will probably not recognize too many of those names, especially the four outfielders. I am now going to construct the roster that I personally would like to see the A’s begin opening day with, bearing in mind that changes are likely and injuries and spur-of-the-moment defections to the priesthood. So for all of you non-A’s fans, get ready to meet the 2012 Hypothetical Cameron-Selected Oakland A’s!
Beginning with the catchers:
1. Kurt Suzuki- As one of the highest paid remaining A’s players it will be integral for him to try and turn around the offensive decline he’s experienced over the last two seasons. He also can’t seem to throw out too many runners anymore. However, he’s still young enough that he could conceivable turn it around, he plays hard, he’s durable, and he seems to be able to handle a young pitching staff well, so he is possibly the most important A’s player in terms of on the field success in 2012 and will hopefully help mentor some of the younger A’s players.
2. Josh Donaldson- I want to see what he can do and I’m tired of Landon Powell. I wouldn’t mind seeing Powell DH if some of the other options completely bottom out but otherwise I think it’s time to see Donaldson.
1B- Now here is a mess…
1. Brandon Allen- The second- best defensively among the A’s stable of potentially high-power, high-walks type of player and the one who’s had the most success at the major-league level. He didn’t always perform well last season, but he showed flashes and I think that if he doesn’t start at first he is going to get at-bats at DH or in the outfield or somewhere because his bat is just potentially too good.
2. Daric Barton- Last year was a disaster but I wouldn’t mind seeing him get another chance and I think that he will.
3. Chris Carter- A defensive liability with a bat that hasn’t yet been carried into the majors. The team has experimented with him in the outfield but I would rather he just get regular at-bats at DH. I don’t think that he has anything left to prove in the minors and it’s time to see if he can play.
4. Kila Ka’aihue- He’s intriguing in that he’s a former top prospect that was let go by Kansas City because he was simply passed by other prospects. I think that the A’s should give him a look but I don’t know if there is room for him at 1B/DH unless they commit to Carter in the outfield, however.
1. Jemile Weeks
2. Eric Sogard
1. Cliff Pennigton- One of my favorite players. If he can bounce back defensively, should provide plenty of value. He’s going to have to be a leader on this team strange as that is to say.
2. Adam Rosales
1. Scott Sizemore- Defensive questions yet again but it seems like he’s got a decent bat and I have grown quite attached to him so I would like to see what he could do over a full season
2. Adrian Cardenas
3. Adam Rosales
1. Josh Reddick – The main acquisition in the Andrew Bailey trade, there’s no question that he’s going to get a starting job right away after playing well for Boston at the end of last season.
2. Colin Cowgill
3. Michael Taylor
4. Jermaine Mitchell
1. Brandon McCarthy- My favorite player and representative of everything that I love about baseball
2. Dallas Braden
3. Josh Outman
4. Guillermo Moscoso
5. Tom Milone
6. Brett Anderson
Starting pitching is the one area where I think that A’s have a plethora of at least decent options and is probably the strongest part of the organization as a whole. I look forward to watching Dallas Braden pitch again perhaps more than anything else this season.
Closer – Grant Balfour
Setup- Fautino de Los Santos
1. Jerry Blevins
2. Andrew Carnigan
3. Ryan Cook
4. Jordan Norberto
5. Brian Fuentes
Those are just some of my thoughts regarding the team’s roster. I really, really wish that it was April of 2012, because I miss my baseball. It’s been a tumultuous offseason for my favorite team and I really am looking forward for the new beginnings that 2012 will bring. Happy New Year!