I figure we can update this thread as the offseason progresses, but I thought it would be good to have one chronicling all our moves, potential and made, strengths, weaknesses, etc. for this offseason and next season. Basically a combination of our other threads with some other stuff thrown in.
To start, with the Loaiza move, we have effectively cornered the market on starting pitching. Should we do nothing, we'll have the best rotation in baseball. Should we deal Zito, our rotation doesn't get any worse than last years as Zito and Loaiza are comparable and we hopefully get a big bat. Loaiza will help ease our other young guys workload and gives us a veteran presence on the staff.
Weakness-wise, at this point, is our bullpen, and that isn't a big weakness by any means. Street should be gold next year, and for the rest of the bullpen, we could use another lefty, but are strong in long relief. Flores could handle the lefty specialist position, and even if Duke falls back some, the bullpen can take the hit. Not to mention having five starters that can go deep into games will give the pen some good rest.
Our team for next year, at this point, looks something like this:
OFFENSE (UPDATED: 1/25/05)
Kotsay - CF
Ellis - 2B
Chavez - 3B
Thomas - DH
Crosby - SS
Bradley - LF
Johnson - 1B
Kendall - C
Important Bench: Payton?, Perez,
The lineup is probably not right, I didn't put too much thought into it, the point is who's in it, not the order.
STARTING ROTATION (UPDATED:)
Saarloos/Kennedy as 6th starters, and throw Rheinecker/Meyer in the mix for the 5th starter spot should Zito get traded.
Our bullpen is looking very nice other than a lack of a lefty specialist, who I assume we'll get.
That looks like a fine bullpen to me if you throw in a lefty specialist.
Prediction-wise, I see a better year for Loaiza than he had last year, and I'll stick by that. He's more comfortable in the AL, is in a great park for him, plus he's had some great reviews by NL pitchers last year (including Mulder). I think we can take the West unless the Angels really load up offensively, and even then I think we'll be in the race. I think Thomas will stay pretty healthy and log around 350-400 ABs.
I really like the Bradley trade. Ethier, albeit a fine prospect, was not worth Bradley AND Perez. We got a great deal without giving up too much. While it may go against Beane's usual philosophy by trading for the now, so did signing Loaiza. Beane is showing that he thinks we can win this year, and is willing to get the missing piece or two to make that happen. It's a great message for the fans and makes the team stronger as well. Bradley is a great guy for the #2 hole, however Beane may bat him in the 3rd or 5th spot given the lack of other righty power bats in the lineup. The thing about Bradley is he brings a great skill package and some emotional baggage. However, I think the A's are great fit and that his emotional issues will not come into play very much. Jose Guillen fit in well, remember? Perez as a throw-in is just icing on the cake. He has a good bat for a MI and is great to have off the bench and as a backup in case Crosby or Ellis injure themselves.
The Thomas signing: Absolutely perfect. We get a difference maker for super cheap. When healthy, he's the savior righty power bat we've been looking for. The key, of course, is "when healthy." However, given our now super flexibility and depth, we can afford him some injury time. Pretty much every position is backed up with a quality player. Perez at IF, Swisher/Johnson at first/DH, Payton in the OF, Saarloos/Kennedy in the rotation. I'm loving this team. My statement that we'll win the WS is even better supported now. The team is looking towards the short-term, as this signing shows, and I think we've got what it takes!
Any thoughts, comments, predictions, analysis, etc. you have on the A's, now and in the future, this is the thread for it.
Last edited by Half Massed on Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.