Welcome to Opening Day of the 2015 Oakland A's season! It's going to be a fun summer, as the Athletics should put up a great fight in a loaded AL West division. It's been a long wait, but baseball is back.
Here's the catch, though. Things have done changed around here. If you're hoping to see all of your favorites from the last few years, well, I hope you DVR'd some of the old games. You won't find Brandon Moss swatting dingers or Josh Donaldson snaring liners or Derek Norris' ample plumage, but in their places there are some new guys who are at least as exciting, if not more. And as a reward, you never have to watch Alberto Callaspo, Nick Punto or Jim Johnson ever again. Some tradeoffs in life are worth it.
If you're a bit behind on your offseason news, don't worry. We've got you covered here with some of the top stories from the winter. If you were paying attention since November and already know what's going on, maybe there's something here you want to revisit as a refresher. Or maybe you woke up at 6 a.m. this morning like it was Christmas and you need to kill 10 hours or so until the game starts. That's totally normal and didn't only happen to me, right?
Here's everything you need to know to get ready for Opening Day.
If you only click one link in this roundup, make it that one. Here it is again, just in case. (But supplement it with a quick look at the Opening Day roster because the roster wasn't set yet when that preview was written.)
Oakland A's Opening Day roster
Oakland A's 2015-2017 payroll
Oakland A's Community Prospect List
Sean Doolittle injury (hopefully back in a month or so)
Coco Crisp injury (out at least two months)
Josh Reddick injury (could be back in a week)
Ryan Cook demoted
Outfield w/out Reddick and Coco
Major Offseason Transactions
Wow, that roster looks different from last year. The A's made seven separate transactions involving All-Star players, with four going out and three coming in. Each of these links will take you to our StoryStream about that trade, which is an index of all of the posts we wrote about the deal.
DH Billy Butler signed as free agent
3B Josh Donaldson traded to Blue Jays for four players
1B Brandon Moss traded to Indians for Joey Wendle
SP Jeff Samardzija traded to White Sox for four players
C Derek Norris traded to Padres for two players
2B/OF Ben Zobrist acquired from Rays for three players
RP Tyler Clippard acquired from Nationals
Some videos of the new guys acquired in those deals:
Those weren't the only transactions, though, just the biggest ones. A few other guys have come on board:
- 1B Ike Davis was acquired (essentially for free) from the Pirates. If you want the simple version, he's a first baseman who bats lefty and only plays against right-handers; he's shown big power before and the A's hope he will again. Here's a reason why he might be a breakout candidate.
- 1B/OF Mark Canha is a total unknown, and the A's are going to give him a chance. Same story, different year, right? Here's a quick rundown, and here is how he might fit in the lineup as things currently stand.
- The A's brought back Barry Zito! He didn't make the team, but he did accept a minor league assignment so we might see him in Oakland this year.
- New addition Pat Venditte can pitch with both arms, and switches freely for each at-bat. Like Zito, he didn't make the team, but he will probably make an appearance this year.
- LHP Sean Nolin was acquired but hasn't pitched yet as he recovers from sports hernia surgery.
- Also, Daric Barton is finally gone. Best of luck to him in Toronto.
AL West Team Previews
A's 2014 Player Reviews
Moving on from 2014 heartbreak
3 reasons to be excited about Butler
Explaining the Donaldson trade
4 keys to the Moss trade
Samardzija & Norris trade analysis
Clippard is an 8th-inning upgrade
Which teams have former A's players?
Where will the power come from?
Stop doubting the A's!
Beane approval poll (86% approval!)
It's less than 11 hours until the first game of the Oakland A's 2015 season!! ARE YOU EXCITED YET???