What To Expect From 2010

Nothing like articles like this to start your Friday off right! (But Happy Friday, almost holiday, everyone!)

From The Hot Stove Blog on Wednesday:

In his most definitive comments to date about his offseason plans, A's GM Billy Beane on Tuesday -- two days before the free-agency frenzy kicks off in earnest -- suggested that whatever money is available to upgrade the team's talent might stay in the coffers unless it's used to pay the salaries of young players brought in via trade.

Beane, now more than ever, is committed to going young. If he doesn't think a current need -- third base, first base, shortstop and left field are unsettled -- can be filled by a prospect from within the organization, he'll be looking for swap partners.

Ideally, top prospects such as third baseman Brett Wallace and first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter will quickly blossom into the positional equivalent of A's closer Andrew Bailey, who on Monday was named the AL Rookie of the Year.

"We're going to look at young players to fill spots, first and foremost," Beane said. "If those players we'd like to acquire aren't obtainable, we'll consider bringing in guys who can hold the positions down. We're going to stay disciplined and try to do everything we can to fill those spots with young players.

Are we really going to say goodbye to free agent fun and speculations this off-season? From this report, it looks like the A's are holding steady with the group of youngsters they already have in the system (or trading them for other young players who play different positions). I also thought the "positional equivalent of Andrew Bailey" was an interesting choice of words; we aren't really banking on this, are we? I'm all for positive thinking, but Andrew Bailey was almost the pitching equivalent of Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan this season. I can make the reasonable assumption that Wallace and Carter will not be A-rod and Pujols.

Quite honestly, I fear for our offense. All signs indicate that the pitching will be stronger, as our young pitchers continue to develop, but if we thought the 2009 offense was bad (even with Matt Holliday), what can we expect from 2010? What will our lineup look like?

Give me a reason to be optimistic, because "holding positions down" does not mean "putting good players in positions". The 2010 season screams "rebuilding" right now, and it would take nothing short of a miracle season for the A's to be competitive.

Who do you want to see make the team in 2010? Do you think we'll pick up any extra help? Who is going to break out this season? Who is the rookie you are most excited to see?

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