Gregory Bull/Associated Press
Arriving a week before position players, pitchers Sean Doolittle (left) and A.J. Griffin have a chat.
Your starting rotation will be five of the following six guys: Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily and Tommy Milone.
The guy who doesn't grab the fifth spot will either be a long reliever or more likely start in Sacramento.
The obvious picks to nab a spot in the bullpen are Jim Johnson, Luke Gregerson, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook. With their resumes of talent and experience, there's no doubt about this fearsome foursome of relievers.
Oakland's most tantalizing roster battle is for that last bullpen spot or two.
Competition includes Dan Otero, Jesse Chavez, Josh Lindblom, Drew Pomeranz, Fernando Abad, Fernando Rodriguez, Evan Scribner and Joe Savery.
Otero exploded onto the scene last year by posting a 1.38 ERA in 33 games. Chavez was effective as a long reliever in the first half of the season where he posted a 2.97 ERA as opposed to his second half 5.25 ERA.
He'll start in the first spring camp game. Little-used Scribner had trouble duplicating his 2012 success. His ERA rose from 2.55 to 4.39.
Meanwhile the rest are all new faces.
Pomeranz came via the Brett Anderson trade and looks to finally prove himself. In three seasons with the Colorado Rockies, his lowest ERA was 4.93.
Lindblom has spent three years in Major League Baseball—the first half of which has been good; the last half has been awful. While Lindblom's career went from up to down, Abad's has gone from good to really bad to OK. In the span between 2009-13, Rodriguez did not pitch in MLB in two of those years and worked in just 0.2 innings of a third season.
Savery arrives after being designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies. He's been OK in the few opportunities he's had in the majors but pitched very well in Triple-A last season posting an 11.0 K/9 ratio. He could be the dark-horse candidate that steals a spot.
Prospects Raul Alcantara and Michael Ynoa will be in camp.
Like Russell, they're big-name prospects who will be fun to watch, but have little chance of making the Oakland A's in 2014. Both are years away from the major league level.
Arnold Leon is a third minor leaguer invited to camp. The 25-year-old has bounced back and forth between Double-A and Triple-A.
Seven players will vie for a spot as a non-roster invitee.
Of them, Philip Humber is the most notable. He threw a perfect game in 2012 with the Chicago White Sox. Andrew Werner had early success in 2011 and 2012, but struggled mightily in 2013 with the San Diego Padres.
Fernando Nieve constantly bounces between the majors and minors, but never caught on with the New York Mets or Houston Astros. The 31-year-old will try to make an already crowded Oakland team.
Jose Flores is 24 years old and has never played higher than Double-A. Deryk Hooker is essentially in the same boat with only 15 games in Triple-A.
Jeremy McBryde is in that boat, too, and he's two years older than Flores and Hooker. Matt Buschmann is in the worst shape of all of them; he's 30 and still hovers between Double-A and Triple-A.