The narrative for the Oakland A's under GM Billy Beane has been simple.
The A's front office builds a contender using young and inexpensive stars. Then tears it all down when those youngsters become too costly, and repeats the process all over again. Looking out onto the horizon, however, the story appears to be changing in Oakland.
With a few exceptions, the club's young core of hitters is under team control not just for 2014, but 2015 as well.
So, what will the A's lineup look like on Opening Day 2015?
Familiar faces will occupy nearly every spot. As back-to-back ALDS exits demonstrate, however, the A's are clearly short a bat or two.
The free agent market seems an unlikely solution. The free agent classes of 2014 and 2015 are both underwhelming, as compiled by MLBTradeRumors. That means the stage is set for Beane to execute one of his patented trades as the A's pursue that impact bat to help them take the next step in October.
Here's a preview of what the A's lineup could be like in 2015: