Last winter, A's General Manager Billy Beane actually went on a "shopping-spree" and acquired Matt Holliday via trade with the Rockies. Then he got Jason Giambi, Orlando Cabrera, and Nomar Garciaparra via free agency.
Holliday and Giambi were supposed to bring power to a team that desperately needed some, but ultimately Beane's plan didn't quite pan out.
After a mid-season revelation that his team was not quite ready to compete, Beane unloaded the players he acquired during the offseason, in order to give younger players a chance to strut their stuff.
Over the course of the second-half, the A's became more aggressive on the basepaths. They ended up with 133 total stolen bases for the year, which was good for 4th best in the American League. They had also managed to play decent baseball without the power bats they thought they needed at the start of the season.
The A's finished with a team total of 135 homeruns, 759 runs scored, and a team batting average of .262. Jack Cust led the team with 25 dingers, followed by Kurt Suzuki with 15.
With the rebuilding A's getting younger and younger, it's hard to see Jack Cust fitting in next year, especially with Chris Carter and Brett Wallace on the horizon. Cust is a strikeout-walk-homerun guy, and is below average to mediocre when he's in the outfield.
The A's need to add power to their lineup if they want to improve next season. Chris Carter—who last year in different levels of the minors hit .329 with 28 homeruns—is a future centerpiece for the A's. And Carter's powerful bat should find its way into Oakland's lineup some time during the 2010 season.
Brett Wallace, listed as a third-baseman, is seen more as a first-baseman/DH with good power. Wallace is also a part of the A's future, especially with Eric Chavez missing time due to injuries. If Chavez isn't able to man the hot corner, perhaps the A's should take a gamble and bring up Wallace to get his feet wet sometime during the 2010 season.
The A's are a decent offense away from actually becoming a force in AL West again. Whether the A's decide to explore the market for a power bat, or upgrade from within the organization, the A's future is definitely bright.
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