And Now, Nicodamus Explains The Future...

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The first thing you have to know about my predictions of what will happen with the A's in the off-season is that I am always wrong. Like clockwork. I will confess that I did not see the signing of Yoenis Cespedes coming last winter, nor did I expect Oakland to trade for Chris Young yesterday. If there's one thing you can count on, it's that my best guesses as to what will happen with the A's will be incorrect. That being said, here's what I predict will (and therefore won't) happen...

* I won't be surprised at all if Jemile Weeks is traded. I just get the impression that Bob Melvin is not crazy about Weeks, and this is, make no mistake about it, Bob Melvin's team. I have felt this for a while, so yesterday's quotes from Billy Beane that Josh Donaldson "will hold down 3B now and perhaps for years to come," and that Scott Sizemore "will go back to 2B," only further validate that the A's are far from committed to Weeks at this point.

Granted, the most likely scenario is that Sizemore and Weeks duke it out in spring training, along with Grant Green, in an open audition for the 2B job, and I'm sure the A's are not wild about "selling low" on Weeks. But I also think that with Weeks being a #1 draft pick who had an excellent rookie season and has only endured one "sophomore slump" season, there are teams who will be interested in Jemile, and if there is I have to question his future with Melvin's A's.

* I do think the A's will go after a free agent starting pitcher in an attempt to improve their depth. The beauty of the A's position here is that they don't really need to improve the rotation -- they just need to get deeper so that when they lose a SP they can replace him with a SP who is equally good. I can see Dan Straily starting the year at AAA just waiting to be the first call-up, and I don't think that the re-signing of Brandon McCarthy (which I think will happen) will stop the A's from pursuing another free agent SP. The A's intend to contend in 2013, and to do that you ideally want your #7 and #8 SP to be guys you would be happy putting in your original starting 5. Straily, Griffin, Blackley are those kinds of pitchers.

Now the question is: Which SP might the A's land? This year's free agent crop has more quantity than quality. 3 pitchers I wouldn't mind the A's pursuing are Danny Haren, Hiroki Kuroda, and Jeremy Guthrie. Who does my Nicodamus-like gut tell me it might be? Guthrie, a typical "under the radar, better pitcher than you realized he was until you took a closer look" guy the A's might have been tracking for years waiting for the chance.

* I know the Young-Pennington trade makes it appear the A's believe they will re-sign Stephen Drew, but I'm guessing that Drew winds up moving on. I just never saw him as someone who ever really became part of the team -- he came across to me as being on the periphery of the "family" as if he knew he was here as a 2-month rental.

There is such a lack of talent at shortstop across baseball that Drew can probably get a multi-year deal that is a better contract for him to explore than just to accept the existing one-year option. Sure, the A's could make that multi-year offer but I don't expect them to make the best one and I expect Drew to take the best deal, period.

Now with Pennington gone, it creates a real issue at SS for the A's if they don't re-sign Drew. I'd look for them to see if they can pry Jed Lowrie from the Astros, who are a decent trade partner considering they need good young talent and the A's have a deep farm system right now. Guthrie, Lowrie? Go Stanford! Ryan Garko, for the wi--

Ok, where we? Oh right...

* Don't look for Brandon Moss to platoon next year. At least he shouldn't, anyhow. (Note: We just went from "predictions" to "stuff I think".) Moss is a streaky hitter and that means there are going to be times when he can't hit anyone no matter what hand they use. But when he's hot, he really looks like he sees LHPs just fine. In other words, with Moss I don't know that it's so much a "lefty-righty" thing as it is a "can hit anyone-can't hit anyone" thing.

* Chris Carter shouldn't platoon either. Partly because if he has a platoon split, it's that he hits RHPs better. Carter should, in my excruciatingly humble opinion, be DHing every day. That allows him to bat against everyone, which is a good thing, and to play defense against no one, which is also a good thing.

Now, playing Moss and Carter every day, along with an OF already crowded with Cespedes, Crisp, Young, and Reddick, leaves little room for Jonny Gomes or Seth Smith. Not sure how I think that will play out for Smith. Maybe he gets jettisoned as he is becoming less bargain-y, or maybe he stays as part of the insane depth the A's could build for their starting rotation and OF. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, "I'm not sure what will happen."

Well, I should probably stop before I'm tempted to ramble. {Re-reads the post so far} Aw, crud. Just remember: you heard it all here first. And most of all, please remember: all the parts I get terribly, terribly wrong, I was kidding. Geez.

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