Though the Oakland Athletics answered their biggest offseason questions—who plays shortstop and which free agents will be re-signed—there are a few that remain unanswered. While some are minor, others are so important they could have major implications on whether the A's repeat as AL West champions.
And while the Rangers haven't done anything to put themselves in place to compete in 2013, the Angels added Josh Hamilton to their already staunch offense which includes Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. The pitching was the weak link last season, but the likelihood of rebound is great. Even the Seattle Mariners have added a few fine pieces.
So what have the A's done?
First they let team leaders Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Inge and Jonny Gomes walk. Oakland also lost Stephen Drew, who signed with the Boston Red Sox. Longtime Athletic Cliff Pennington was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Chris Young. Lastly, they signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima.
Five integral parts of 2012's success are gone—two question marks in their place.
The hope is that Nakajima is a short-term answer at shortstop and Young is the consistency in the lineup that was missing last year.
Now that those are answered, these questions are up next.