Oakland A's: 5 Changes They Need to Make This Offseason

Kasey ScottAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2011

Oakland A's: 5 Changes They Need to Make This Offseason

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    While the movie Moneyball has the A's in the spotlight, the A's are in for yet another losing season and are in need of some much needed changes.

    The A's did manage to go .500 in 2010, but 2011 was supposed to be the year the A's made a run at playoffs. 

    Injuries and other factors killed the A's chances, but there should still be hope for the A's going forward as long as they make a few changes. 

Change the Culture

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    Bob Melvin was signed to a three-year contract extension after he replaced coach Bob Geren.

    With Melvin as the A's head coach they were able to 44-50. The record doesn't seem that impressive, but with the injuries to Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden Melvin has done pretty well.

    Melvin will be in charge of changing the losing culture in Oakland, and this will be no easy task.

    All of the pressure cannot be placed on Melvin, as the team has questions in the outfield and with their starters heading into 2012.  

Change Up the Lineup with Youth

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    Nearly midway through the 2011 season, the A's traded away fan favorite Mark Ellis. Few people were in favor of the move, but after seeing what Jemile Weeks can do, nobody is arguing. 

    The A's rookie went on to lead the team in batting average and was second in stolen bases and OBP. 

    Cliff Pennington is a young guy that the A's have shown faith with in the past, but the A's will need to incorporate some more young guys into the lineup in 2012. 

    Both Scott Sizemore and Brandon Allen should be given the opportunity to start for the A's in 2012 after showing what they have to offer. 

    Sizemore is hitting .244 with 10 home runs and 49 RBI. Allen is hitting .206 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI. 

Change Up the Outfield

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    Josh Willingham has been one of the few bright spots for the A's offense in 2011. Willingham leads the team with 28 home runs and 95 RBI. 

    Cocoa Crisp also has had a pretty solid season with a .267 BA, 48 stolen bases, and a 140 hits. Crisp led the team in both stolen bases and hits. 

    With Crisp, Willingham and DeJesus all set to hit free agency in 2012, change is coming to the A's outfield in 2012. 

    Expect the A's to try and re-sign either Crisp or Willingham. There is no telling if either will return meaning they may have an entirely new outfield in 2012. 

    Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran are all outfielders also set to hit free agency. In the A's case, they should re-sign Willingham and try to patch together an outfield with possibly one of the free agents listed above. 

Change Stadiums

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    This is obviously easier said than done. Can you see the fans in the background? You can literally count the fans rather than the open seats. 

    Should I stay or should I go is the question as the A's are looking for potential places to move. San Jose has been brought up plenty of times, but the Giants hold the territorial rights. 

    If the A's are going to become a true contender, this must happen. Players no longer wish to play in the Oakland-Alamda County Coliseum.

    Fans, players and nearly anyone else is sick of the stadium situation here in Oakland. They must change stadiums in order to once again become relevant. 

Change Up the Rotation a Bit

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    With Dallas Braden set to hit free agency, the A's don't have to make a decision with the lefty. They need to part ways with the injury plagued starter. 

    Brett Anderson is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and his status could be up in the air for 2012. 

    Tyson Ross is still a young star in the making and will challenge for a spot in the A's starting rotation.

    Both Brandon McCarthy and Guillermo Moscoso have pitched well following the injuries the A's suffered in 2011. McCarthy is 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA and Moscoso is 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA.

    Of coarse the A's still have both Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez at the top of the rotation, but there still needs to be some type of change in the A's rotation. 

    If Anderson is healthy enough to return and the team re-signs Rich Harden, then the A's should try to trade one of their stud pitchers for hitting. The A's ranked outside the top 20 in most offensive categories, while ranking inside the top 10 for most pitching categories.