FanPost

Zonis's Off Season Charter


We have seen several of our members throw out their plans for the off season, and now that we are into it, with several moves already made, I thought I would throw my hat into the ring.

The key to entering an off season is simple. You have to ask yourself and answer two key questions: What do I Have and What do I need?

This is also aided by the same parallel questions of your opponents. These questions will allow you to judge how strong you are and how strong you need to be.

What do the A's have?

The first thing we need to do is judge what the A's actually have going into the 2010 season, where the weaknesses are, were the holes in the team are, and what can be upgraded.

As it stands, the team currently looks like this.

C1: Kurt Suzuki
1B:
2B: Mark Ellis
3B:
SS: Cliff Pennington
LF:
RF:
CF: Rajai Davis
DH:

C2: Landon Powell
BN:
BN:
BN:

SP: Brett Anderson
SP: Dallas Braden
SP:
SP:
SP:

RP: Andrew Baily
RP: Joey Devine
RP: Brad Ziegler
RP: Mike Wuertz
RP: Craig Breslow
RP: Jeff Gray
RP:


That is a lot of holes to fill. Obviously, there are quite a few players that have been left out for one reason or another.


The most obvious holes that I have left all have a striking key feature, something we have been complaining about for quite some time. They are all the positions which you expect to get the bulk of your offense from. It is this reason why you might wonder if Ryan Sweeney really is meant to make the club as a starting outfielder, considering his lack of offensive prowess as a Corner Outfielder. As a Backup or Platoon Center fielder, Sweeney would be great, but this team is dying for offense, so lets try to leave ourselves open to plus offensive opportunities for now.


Arguably, one could write Eric Chavez into the Third Base slot. But as we've seen, that would be good for maybe the first week of Spring Training, and it is not worth relying on Chavez for anything, and treating him as an added bonus if he is around.

Scott Hairston performed terribly in his stint with the A's, so I am also hesitant on what to do with him.

Travis Buck and Aaron Cunningham both probably deserve chances, and should be a better offensive bet than Sweeney, though both have performed poorly in brief stints in the majors the last couple years.

Jack Cust had his down year last year, and is in for a big raise, which makes him a non-tender target with the annual flux of DH candidates around.

Daric Barton is somewhat of a wild card, flipping his minor league projection from a bad defensive, good offensive 1B to a good defensive, bad offensive 1B. I will have him on the team, but it depends on if the A's acquire a stop gap 1B. Either way, it looks like Barton will be replaces by either Wallace or Carter or Doolittle (Oh My!)

For Starting Pitching, aside from the two who are already slotted, the A's have a lot of choices of players who could be good, but are wild cards. Trevor Cahill, Vin Mazzaro, and Gio Gonzalez will likely get the nod if another veteran pitcher is not acquired, so we can probably pencil them in. Josh Outman is still recovering from TJ Surgery, and wont be available for a long time, so for now lets write him off. If another SP candidate brings himself up, a Spring Training competition will likely be the deciding factor.

In the Bullpen, the last slot is, for the most part, a spot to win in Spring Training. That slot could go to Jerry Blevins, the Usual Fodder that is the A's Longman Slot, or could go to Henry Rodriguez, who is out of options.

We look down to the Minors, and we have a crop of strong offensive prospects, of which might be ready for the Majors, but probably are not.

Brett Wallace is still being tried out at 3B, but won't likely be ready in time. The team could still give him a shot if he impresses during ST, but more likely he will be called up Mid season.

Adrian Cardenas tore up AA, but struggled in his first stint at AAA, and did decent in is second trip. I suspect he will once again return to AAA, where he will tear it up. But lets leave him there for now.

Chris Carter destroyed AA, and did well in Triple A, but will likely return there as well.

Sean Doolittle was doing well in AAA before getting injured and being out for the season. Unfortunate, because he could likely have made the team if not for the injury.

So lets update the chart with players we already have.

C1: Kurt Suzuki
1B: Daric Barton
2B: Mark Ellis
3B:
SS: Cliff Pennington
LF: Aaron Cunningham
RF: Ryan Sweeney
CF: Rajai Davis
DH:

C2: Landon Powell
BN: Travis Buck
BN: Scott Hairston
BN: Gregorio Petit

SP: Brett Anderson
SP: Dallas Braden
SP: Trevor Cahill
SP: Vince Mazzaro
SP: Gio Gonzalez

RP: Andrew Baily
RP: Joey Devine
RP: Brad Ziegler
RP: Mike Wuertz
RP: Craig Breslow
RP: Jeff Gray
RP: Jerry Blevins

So we are off to the Free Agent and Trade Market with holes at 3B and DH, and hoping for an upgrade in the outfield. Lets see what are available.

3rd Base:
Troy Glaus
Adrian Beltre
Pedro Feliz
Dan Uggla
Kevin Kouzmanoff
Matt Gamel
Brandon Wood

The first three are Free Agents, the last four are Trade Targets. Gamel would not likely work, as he has been kindly described as a butcher at 3B. Still, be might be an interesting target to acquire as a DH, assuming he can recover back to form. Brandon Wood, the perennial prospect, has been mistreated by the Anges for quite some time now. I would like to try to grab him and give him a shot myself. The Padres no longer need the services of the Kouz, but are likely to ask a lot in return for him. As for Feliz, we have already had him before, and his name was Jack Hannahan. So that leaves Adrian Beltre and Troy Glass. Beltre would be good to have, but will likely ask for a multi year, expensive deal, and with other teams vying for 3B and the A's looking at Brett Wallace as a Third Baseman, it would not be that great an idea to grab him and block Wallace (At least Wood could be shifted back to SS, and would still be cheap). Personally, I would try to grab Troy Glaus on a 1 year, get your act together and stay healthy contract and see if he can still man 3B. If he can not, shift him to Designated Hitter. Likewise, I would still try to acquire, even if it is from a division rival, Brandon Wood, and try him at 3B and Shortstop.

So my final roster, assuming that Chavez re-injures himself during ST as per annual custom, would look like so.

C1: Kurt Suzuki
1B: Daric Barton
2B: Mark Ellis
3B: Brandon Wood
SS: Cliff Pennington
LF: Aaron Cunningham
RF: Ryan Sweeney
CF: Rajai Davis
DH: Troy Glaus

C2: Landon Powell
BN: Travis Buck
BN: Scott Hairston
BN: Gregorio Petit

SP: Brett Anderson
SP: Dallas Braden
SP: Trevor Cahill
SP: Vince Mazzaro
SP: Gio Gonzalez

RP: Andrew Baily
RP: Joey Devine
RP: Brad Ziegler
RP: Mike Wuertz
RP: Craig Breslow
RP: Jeff Gray
RP: Jerry Blevins

That would leave room, if Wood, Glaus and/or Barton fail during the first half, to replace them with a Wallace, Carter and/or Cardenas. For the outfield, if they are performing well, Corey Brown and Sean Doolittle might get call ups if the current outfield can not handle itself.

This is a low cost roster, as you can tell. With the A's recent financial struggles, both attendance and media wise, not much money was brought in, and a lot was left to leave. Do I think this team can compete with the Angels? No, that's for 2011. But I think it can finish above .500.

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