This is an unconventional season for A's fans. At least compared to recent seasons. The A's are viewed by many as the team that is little to no threat in the American League since the word "rebuilding" doesn't usually have any correlation to the word "contending". They are seen as mutually exclusive.
Yet it appears to be one of the more fascinating spring trainings in recent memory. I still don't know who the A's will have as their starting center fielder come opening day. We still don't know who the A's fifth starter will be. Or even their third baseman right now. You could make educated guesses based on things like past performance and options left (Ryan Sweeney, Dana Eveland and Jack Hannahan) but that's about it. It could also very well be other options like Chris Denorfia, Greg Smith or Donnie Murphy.
There are 11 games left in the abbreviated spring training for our Oakland Athletics and there are many questions left unanswered. That probably means that the players like Gio Gonzalez and Carlos Gonzalez will make their start with Sacramento no matter how well they perform over these next nine days/11 games (two days of split squad in there too).
It's hard to believe that real baseball that actually counts is so close. The A's will have the luxury of being able to carry three extra players with them to Japan so the toughest decisions (ahem, Dan Johnson) won't have to be made until they get back to the United States. I'm still guessing that DJ will wind up being dealt, even if it is for little to no return. The A's simply have too many options for that position.
Any way, it's been a fascinating spring training mostly because so many players have performed so well that they're making the A's front office have some tough decisions which is one of the reasons this has been so much fun for us. I will tell you this. If I wasn't sold on Beane making some of the moves he made this offseason, I am officially sold on them now. The A's have some quality players in their system who are knocking on the door already and yet, there are also many more down the road. I may be naive, but I'm really excited to see how this team comes together this year. Even if the team performs as low as the expectations, there is the foundation for something great. And I think it might be sooner than people think.