Oakland A's: 5 Offseason Moves to Build for the Future
The Oakland A's made only one move before the July 31 trade deadline. This lack of activity is a possible sign that Billy Beane and company could be content with what they have and are looking to build for the future with the current nucleus in tact.
The A's stumbled into the All-Star break going 3-10 in their final 10 games before the break. The dismal finish included getting swept in a four game series against the American League West Leading Texas Rangers.
Since then the A's seem to have their legs back, kind of. While going 10-9 since the break is not cause for celebration, it at least shows that the team still has quite a bit of fight left in them.
Something A's fans can celebrate is the emergence of the teams ability to score runs. The A's have scored six or more runs eight times during this latest stretch of 19 games.
The A's are 12.5 games out of first place as this article is being put together.
Though the A's are technically not out of contention,so considering they still play the Rangers nine more times and the Los Angeles Angels six more times, there is still hope. Even with that glimmer of hope,fans might want to be realistic at this point ans look towards that future that I talked about earlier.
Following is a list of five moves that could help the A's next year and the seasons to come.
I'm well aware that I'm not a GM, so keep this in mind when you shoot down my ideas, I am just presenting my opinion of what I think should go down.
If you disagree, lets here it.
The A's Need a Big Bat at First Base
This is no way a slight to Conor Jackson who has basically taken over at first base for the A's.
Jackson is a good young player with a lot of promise, but he lacks the power numbers usually expected from a first basemen.
The Chris Carter experiment was a short one, but it didn't seem to pan out none the less.
The A's recently acquired Brandon Allen from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Brad Ziegler trade. Allen is supposed to be a power hitting first baseman, so he could be the answer here, but it could take a while for Allen to be ready,
Jackson would be better suited playing in the outfield, probably right field which would leave David DeJesus left out in the cold.
Bottom line is, the A's need power at the corner infield spots.
Sorry Matsui, but the A's Need DH to Put Up Better Numbers
I can hear the screams all the way from "Matsui Land,"
I will make you a deal, if Matsui continues to hit like he has in his last 10 games (18 hits) I'l eat my words and forget about this move.
If is the important word here, I like Matsui as much as most fans, he's a good guy and all around professional, but the A's need more consistency out of the three hole or cleanup spot.
Think About Moving Josh Willingham to DH
If Josh Willingham is in the A's future, which is a possibility because he survived the trade deadline, then this could be the best spot for him.
Now if my Hideki deal blows up in my face then this may not work.
Yes, Matsui could play right field, but this punches a hole in my entire plan, so let's assume that everything goes as planned.
If your confused I will to try and clear things up in the next slide.
Make Ryan Sweney an Everyday Player
OK here's the plan. Like I said the A's need a big bat at first base, so move Conor jackson to the outfield.
The A's would probably have to get rid of David DeJesus, he hasn't lived up to expectations so in my opinion it's probably going to happen anyway.
Coco Crisp stays in center field and Ryan Sweeney moves to the outfield as an everyday player.
This of course puts Josh Willingham at the DH spot.
Now for Matsui, let's assume he does not continue his current ways, if that is the case then he should remain on the team as a clubhouse presence and play a similar role to the one Sweeney is playing right now.
If the A's decide that Jackson is fine at first base until Brandon Allen is ready then Matsui could still stay in the lineup as an outfielder if need be.
As Hannibal Smith of the A-Team would say, "I love it when a plan comes together."
A Team Can Never Have Enough Pitching!
Injuries to the Oakland A's pitching staff definitely hurt the club in 2011.
When healthy, the A's have arguably one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, but going out and stock piling arms and creating a situation where you have to make hard decisions come spring training could be a good thing.
With the loss of Brad Ziegler and the exit of Brian Fuentes is most likely inevitable, so looking at bullpen arms is probably not a bad thing either.