As the A's prepare for the 2010 season, they have an outside chance at competing for the playoffs.
A lot will have to go right for that goal to be attained, however.
It's likely that stars such as Brett Anderson, Andrew Bailey, and Michael Wuertz will perform well next year. Other players, such as Kurt Suzuki, Dallas Braden, Ryan Sweeney, and Brad Ziegler should be expected to turn in above-average performances.
It would be foolish to expect a whole lot of contribution from some of the other players on the roster (say, Aaron Miles).
However, there are some players who are tougher to project, because they have performed well at times and poorly at others. For different reasons, they could be anything from above-average to horrible this year.
The A's will need strong seasons from these five players if they are to contend. Let's examine who they are and why they're on this list.