One big question being raised is what to be done with the starting rotation next season. Our pitching rotation this year was basically made up of makeshift pitchers. Griffin and Blackley in my mind were really "f*** it, let's try and see what happens" and lucky shots. However, nonetheless, the pitching rotation still pulled through, and went all the way to the ALDS Game 5.
Many fans on this site want to re-sign Brandon McCarthy. Although I like the guy, and he really is a great player, he's riddled with injuries and he's only going to pitch for only half-season. According to his Fangraphs, the most he's pitched was 53 games in 2006 for the Chicago White Sox. Since then, he has not pitched more than 25 (pitched 25 games in 2011). His injury problems seemingly guarantee we're going to see at least some Godfrey or Ross. Because of that, I don't think Beane will re-sign McCarthy, and he may as well end up with the Cubs or Mariners.
Dan Straily is another guy. Straily has absolutely dominated the minor leagues, and is regarded as one of our top prospects. When his stuff is working, he's a K machine, and strikes out as many as Max Scherzer. However, in his time in the MLB, he was rocky, posing a 3.89 ERA, and a 2-1 record, and was very prone to the long ball. I believe that his stuff can be better controlled come spring training, and I believe he will be a starter in 2013.
We really don't have a proper 4th or 5th guy. We have Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone being the first 3, and Parker and Milone are likely to get better next season. Although I believe Straily can become the 4th guy, we really lack anyone who pitches 5th. I don't trust Brad Peacock, and Bartolo Colon post-PEDs scares me. Travis Blackley is a good candidate, but he is somewhat of a "bipolar" pitcher. Either he does near-perfect or gets shelled early. Griffin makes the most sense, but he could also be used as long relief. No way do I want Tyson Ross or Graham Godfrey pitching 1 inning in 2013.
There are free agent options. These include:
3 of them (Haren, Harden, and Blanton) being former Athletics. Anibal is the most pricey, and is the least likely I would expect to be signed by Beane. Haren's drop in velocity and a generally bad season has concerned many, and his bad contract is something that worries me as well. Guthrie is good as well, and after a bad year at Coors Field (not surprising), his numbers improved in Kansas City. Feldman had a rough 2012, but Curt Young could get him to pitch again. Liriano also has a "bipolar" tendency as well, and either he's a K machine or a really lousy pitcher. Oswalt is a great veteran, but he has declined over the years, but nonetheless he could make a great long relief option.