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Oakland needs a minor upgrade at a couple of positions, but overall, they have a lot of talent.
Milone, Parker and newly called-up strikeout artist Dan Straily anchor a strong rotation that will be rock-solid for years to come. Blevins, Cook and others are anchoring a strong bullpen, and Cespedes is headlining an offense that's on a roll.
Even though Derek Norris and George Kottaras aren't great catchers and Eric Sogard and Cliff Pennington aren't great shortstops, the A's still have a solid team. Oakland wasn't able to acquire Marco Scutaro from the Rockies, although they may still go after a shortstop. According to Devin Pangaro of the Swingin' A's blog, Oakland went after a lot of middle infielders at the trade deadline.
If a shortstop goes on waivers, expect Oakland to make a move. They don't want to go on with Eric Sogard at shortstop, and they will probably upgrade. Oakland will probably platoon Kottaras and Norris at catcher, but they want help at shortstop.
Even if the A's don't upgrade, they still have a lot of talent. The Angels probably have more talent, and both teams will compete for a wild-card spot. Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver headline a talented Angels team that's ready to compete and go far in the playoffs.
The White Sox and Tigers will also try to secure a spot. The White Sox lead the AL Central right now, but the Tigers will probably pass them. If the White Sox do fall back into the wild-card race, they'll probably be Oakland's main threat.
Chicago has Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Alex Rios, who have all done well this year. However, they aren't as well-rounded as the A's, and Oakland has much better pitching. Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay and Baltimore, some other competitors, have good teams, but Oakland has more talent.
Tampa Bay has good pitching but terrible hitting. Oakland's offense is on a roll, and they've been doing better than the Rays recently. Oakland has much better pitching than Boston, Baltimore and Toronto, and that alone should make them an instant favorite for an AL wild-card spot.
Not to mention that they're already leading the wild-card race. As long as they keep up at this pace, Oakland will be in the playoffs for the first time in six years.