Over the years, the Oakland A's have parted ways with some serious talent. Sometimes this was just trading a prospect they underestimated for a veteran they ultimately overvalued; but generally it was due to budgetary reasons. If the A's had the payroll of, say, the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, it's possible that their currently weak lineup could've been filled with multiple All-Stars.
I obviously have hindsight on my side, but just to play devil's advocate, I thought it would be interesting to see just what the A's might've looked come 2012 Opening Day if payroll wasn't an issue. Now keep in mind, players who you thought would've been on here had to be left off, because they themselves were in deals that brought over other guys on this roster.
But at the end of the day, it really is a testament to how good Oakland's research and scouting department is that such a high number of great players were at one time donning the green and gold, even if they didn't last that long.
Here are your 2012 Theoretical Oakland Athletics.