Well, not exactly. First of all, while our rotation may seem great, it could falter. Basically, we need Trevor Cahill and Gio to be dominant for a full season once more, Brett Anderson to be ace without getting shelved for much of the season, and then, after all that, we need the 4 and 5 starters, be it Dallas Braden and Bobby Cramer or whoever else pops up to try to be consistent and not make it that we win three games, then lose two. And we need more than just offense: we need a big power hitter, and a strong, consistent player who has experience and isn't a grandpa. Ah well, all in an offseason's work, eh?
Starting with the pitching. Like I mentioned before, all those things need to be fulfilled, or at least most of them. Because the truth is, though our rotation seemed to be one of the best in the majors this year, there were still shaky spots. Despite the dominance of certain starters, we still struggled because of the hurler, mainly thanks to Ben Sheets and the inconsistency of Vin Mazzaro. In the bullpen, there weren't many holes, except when Zeigler, Breslow and Wuertz decided they would be whipping boys. Bailey is still a very good closer, and a full healthy season could lead to great stats. If those circumstances are apparent then I envision these numbers: 1.85 ERA, 2-2, 33 SV in 37 SVO, 71 IP, 77 K. (These probably aren't the best stats, but I try). Overall, the pitching is good. And there's a lot of hope here.
OK, abandon hope all. We join a popless (don't think that's a word, but who cares?) offense. The A's were, as usual, in the cellar in offensive categories. Naturally, HR's, BA, and SLG% were some of them. The A's also had a lot of K's, and it's not just the stats. How many times did Oakland have RISP but failed to come through? No, seriously, I lost count. Of course the lineup was pretty dismal, and I almost cryed on the days when it looked like this:
1) R. Davis RF
2) K. Suzuki C
3) J. Cust DH
4) K. Kouzmanoff 3B
5) M. Carson CF
6) M. Watson LF
7) M. Ellis 2B
8) J. Larish 1B
9) C. Pennington SS
But what can the A's do? Well, a few things. As I said in "Bidding Farewell to Jeremy and Ross", they're already getting rid of loose ends. Carl Crawford will be a free agent this winter, so maybe (GASP!) it's time to spend some money well spent. (Not $10,000,000 on Ben Sheets). Jayson Werth, Matt Kemp, and Dan Uggla could all be options, and we have a fair amount of trade bait, like Vin Mazzaro. The hefty options of Eric Chavez Duke, and Sheets almost certainly won't be picked up, which opens up a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
And that's that. In a nutshell, there are a bunch of things to improve on. But, at least the A's can focus on the lineup with the rotation really set. (Hopefully).