Given the performance of several rookies, veterans and others with the team this year, and looking forward for the team that will need to defend the WS Title for this year (that right! I'm confident New Bob is going to take us to the promise land!!), there are several battles that we can see since NOW for some spots in the roster next year...
First big problem: First Base
Carter has some decent defense in 1B, Moss has been a revelation, and both seems to return next year (Moss is arbitration elegible) so the 2013 version of the platoon might be a real posibility.
Now, the problem is Barton. I don't see it too much like a problem. The kid just lost his job. He is not even close to Moss or Carter in terms of overall value, and sending him to Triple A waiting for an injurie won't be fair for him. A trade would be hard but it can be done in order to get him a fair shot on other team.
Another good problem: Second Base
Production from 2B has been the lower point on our lineup. Weeks experienced a season long slump, and Pennington has been inconsistent. Now, coming back next year is Sizemore, and his primary position in Detroit was 2B. Sizemore, Pennington and Weeks will battle for the spot next year, with Grant Green going for the long shot to get the job as well. All 4 options are not optimal (except Weeks, if he get out of that slump) but a healthy Sizemore in 2B should improve the production we got this year.
Potential problem: Shortstop
If Drew excersise the mutual option, the A's should agree. There is no better option within the organization neither within the FA class 2013. Negotiate Drew's continuity for 2013 should be BB #1 priority after our WS party celebration.
Repeated Problem: Outfield
The starting 3 should come back next year. Cespedes, Crisp and Reddick should be back in 2013 and nobody should mess with that.
Now, what to do with the other 2 outfielders from 2012, Smith and Gomes?? Their playing time wre basically DH duties and backup OFers, but if we bring back both, Moss and Carter, whoever doesn't play 1B, should DH. That should limit the room for only 1 of the 2 from Gomes and Smith. Smith is under team control, and Gomes is a free agent for 2013, but Gomes presence in the dugout has been so valuable, that resigning him should be strongly considered. Now, what to do in order to find room and playing time for the both of them??
Additionally to that, is a little problem: Michael Taylor. The kid deserves a shot in the show. He is getting way too old for Triple A, and his 2012 season was strong. But if we should have problems to find playing time for Smith and Gomes, Taylor should be dealt to other organization that can give him a fair shot. If injuries plague our outfield, Peterson, Moss, Green and even Mitchell can cover limited time the OF.
The pitching is another potential problem, but I will write another piece regarding our rotation and bullpen for next year.