I am a huge optimist, and i know the A's won't contend next year. However, next year will be huge in the development of out team, since we are aiming to truly contend in about 3 years.
I will focus on our 2012 outfield, 1b, and DH spots, since that is where we have the most questions, presuming zook, sizemore, weeks, and pennington start at their respective positions, and i will try not to make this TOO long.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP.
We have alot of depth at 1B, albeit not the best options. Allen, Carter, Barton, Kila Ka'aihue can all contend for the starting 1b job, and Sean Doolittle could help by the end of the year. Regarding the outfield, I believe that taylor and Sweeney will almost be handed the starting jobs, with whatever position left to be given to a free agent (à la Grady Sizemore).
My guess is that Barton and Allen will be competing for the 1B job, and Carter and Ka'aihue for the DH position. However, if we dont land a mediocre name in the free agent pool, I would be fine with letting allen handle LF, Carter being the DH, and Barton starting at 1B. IF anyone of them struggle, promote Kila (eg, Barton struggles-->Carter to LF, Allen to 1B, and Kila to DH). All four used to be can't-miss prospects, and i doubt they ALL end up being just utility players, at least 1 or 2 of them will become stars, right?????
Now, for the bench, I believe that Beane was satisfied with Scott Sizemore at 3B, so Beane will most likely only pursue OF help this offseason. My guess is that we will keep Rosales as our main utility infielder who can also be the 5th outfielder. Jai Miller will be our 4th outfielder, since he showed his potential in AAA last year. I do think that we non-tender Powell and leave the backup C job to recker/donaldson. Finally, for the last bench spot, it will be a spring training battle between Sogard and Adrian Cardenas.
Last but not least, the pitching staff, where i believe we have playoff-caliber talent. Cahill, Gonzalez and Mccarthy; if Braden is ready, he is he 4th starter, if he isn't, it is Moscoso's job to lose. For the 5th spot, it is between Tyson Ross and Josh Outman (if Braden is not ready). I am perfectly happy with any scenario here. The bullpen is pretty much set with Bailey, Balfour, Fuentes, Breslow, De Los Santos, Devine, and Jordan Norberto/Andrew Carignan, however we do not have alot of depth regarding relief pitchers.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK PLEASE, I LIKE HEARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE 2012 A'S ROSTER!!