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The 2020 SB Nation SIM Offseason Preview

1970s Antiques
Tools of discovery.
Photo By H. Armstrong Roberts/Classicstock/Getty Images

Once again, Max Rieper and Royals Review are hosting the SB Nation Offseason Simulation.

Thirty groups are given the chance to map out the course of the 2021 season for their preferred MLB franchises. From Nov. 1 through Nov. 3 these groups will negotiate trades with each other and compete for free agents, tearing down rosters and attempting to build dynasties — hopefully to the amusement and general satisfaction of our readers.

I am grateful for the opportunity to again represent Athletics Nation alongside invisibleinkwell, Joshua Iverson, Orodawg, and cAsey h. Our goal is to take the core the A’s have in place and build a better contender in 2021.

How (or if) we accomplish that goal remains to be seen. Right now it’s more important to explain where the 2021 Oakland A’s are starting from.

Crunching the numbers.

Numbers drive the modern-day game and the numbers that follow immediately after a dollar sign are taking increased import this winter. All of these salaries are estimates aside from the salaries of Khris Davis, Stephen Piscotty, and Jake Diekman. The arbitration eligible salaries are from MLBTR and the pre-arbitration salaries are guesstimates using historical data and squinting a bit.

They’re also the numbers Max is using to track payroll for all 30 teams. Now, this is a simulation and there’s no real penalty (mocking doesn’t count) for going over budget, but the ideal is for teams to act within their projected means.

Oakland is fortunate in that regard. We are currently working with a $95 million budget, and while we have clear holes to fill we don’t need to make painful non-tender decisions to free up money.

While the 40-man roster is not an official part of the SIM, I keep track of it for my own edification. Oakland has 32 players on the 40-man roster, and 5 clear openings on the 26-man roster. Kemp, Fowler, Blackburn are questionable to maintain their spots on the big league roster and are out of options; they are prime candidates to be designated or waived. The blue names are not the full list of Rule 5 eligible players within Oakland’s system, but they are either notable lower-level prospects or have shown enough in the upper minors to have a shot at contributing with a big league club in 2021.

What would you do with this set-up? How do you want to see this roster evolve and where do you want to take this team? Let’s hear your ideas and we’ll see what happens during the SIM.

Thank you for your time.