Ok, so basically what I'm going to do here is come up with a big list of IF's, and while they're not completely farfetched, they aren't set in stone.
So I'm going to assume the following:
A's sign Furcal
A's sign Giambi
Chavez not healthy
Cahill and Anderson impress at Spring Training
Assuming these transactions the A's lineup in 2009 will look something like this, with each player's 2008 BA and OBP:
Furcal SS- .270, .357 (2007)
R Sweeney CF- .286, .350
Giambi 1B- .247, .373
Holliday LF- .321, .409
Cust DH- .231, .375
Barton 3B- .226, .327
Ellis 2B- .233, .321
Buck RF- .226, .291
Suzuki C- .279, .346
Now that lineup looks a lot more formidable than the lineup last year and I think can certianly contend for an October push.
While a lot of people are saying that Holliday will lose productivity away from Colorado, that can also be countered with the fact that Daric Barton and Travis Buck aren't as bad as their 2008 numbers indicate.
The pitching staff will look something like this:
Duchscherer - 10-8 2.54 ERA 2.79 K/BB
Eveland - 9-9 4.34 ERA 1.53 K/BB
Gonzalez (MLB+Minors) - 9-11 4.98 ERA 1.88 K/BB
Cahill (Minors)- 11-5 2.61 ERA 2.72 K/BB
Anderson (Minors) - 11-5 3.69 ERA 4.37 K/BB
Blevins (Minors+Majors) - 10 SV 2.95 ERA 3.73 K/BB
Zeigler 11 SV 1.06 ERA 1.36 K/BB
Devine .59 ERA 3.26 K/BB .83 WHIP
Thats a strong lineup, a very good rotation, and a lights-out bulpen.
I have a good feeling about 2009