Of all the teams that baseball fans expected to make noise this winter, the Oakland A's would have barely registered as a blip on the radar. But here we are on November 14th and the A's have made a handful of moves to in an attempt to improve their team.
On November 8th I posted A's Win Bidding for Iwakuma. Why Bid?, which briefly described how the A's won the bidding for Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. The potential starting lineup for the Oakland A's is as follows: Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson and Hishashi Iwakuma. Everyone but Iwakuma is under 27 years of age with Iwakuma being 29 years old. The A's rotation has the potential to be as impressive as the early 2000's trio of Hudson, Zito and Mulder. Time will tell for the Oakland quintet. The A's did not only work on their pitching.
In a pair of moves, the A's claimed Edwin Encarnacion off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. This move seems to add some punch to the A's lineup. In 96 games, Encarnacion batted .244 hit 21 homers and drove in 51 RBI. Encarnacion hit 5 more homers than Oakland's homerun leader 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff and hit more than 2B Mark Ellis, 1B Daric Barton and SS Cliff Pennington combined. The A's also traded pitchers Vin Mazzaro and Justin Marks to the Kansas City Royals for OF David DeJesus. In 91 games for the Royals, DeJesus batted .318 with 5 homeruns and 37 RBI.
The A's did not pick up the option for expensive and injury prone Eric Chavez and have chosen not to resign free agents Ben Sheets and Justin Duchscherer. Rumors also have the A's potentially making an offer to free agent 3B Adrian Beltran so the A's might not be done making moves this offseason.
In stadium news, the A's are looking at various options for a new ballpark. One is a stadium in San Jose that the San Francisco Giants are blocking since the Giants say that San Jose is part of their fan base. Jesse McKinley of the New York Times describes the issues at play in his article Gloves Come Off in Bay Area Baseball Battle dated December 30, 2009. Another option has the Oakland Planning Commission meeting on December 1, 2010 to consider a proposal for a new 39,000-seat stadium located near Jack London Square near the Oakland side of San Francisco Bay. This proposal is being reviewed along with three other areas for a new stadium to keep the A's in Oakland.
In all, A's management is trying to improve on the 81-81 record the team posted this past season and try to pose a serious challenge to the American League Champion Texas Rangers in the American League Western Division.
For Further Reading:
- Click Here for the statistics on the 2010 Oakland Athletics from Baseball-Reference.com
- Click Here for MLB Trade Rumors post on the potential 2011 Oakland Athletics rotation
- Click Here for Carolyn Jones article from the San Francisco Chronicle titled Oakland proposed three sites for A's stadium dated November 11, 2010