With the Texas Rangers closing in on their first AL West title since the 1999 season, the A’s focus now should be to finish the season with a winning record. At 73-74, the A’s currently sit 10.0 games back of the Rangers, and have sole possession of second-place. The A’s young pitching staff, which includes youngsters like Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, has shown a lot of growth and promise this season. Gonzalez, however, stands out the most for me. Last season, Gonzalez struggled with his composure, and often let his emotions get the best of him. This season, however, Gonzalez has shown tremendous growth and maturity.
Heading into next season, the A’s young pitching staff should be one the better staffs in the league. Anderson (6-6, 2.83 ERA), along with Cahill (16-7, 2.84) will make a nice one-two punch atop Oakland’s young rotation. In fact, the A’s could have another “Big Three” in the works, as Anderson, Cahill and Gonzalez all have the potential to have wins the double-digits. Throw in Dallas Braden, and Vin Mazzaro, and you suddenly have a pretty nice rotation for next year.
The only problem Oakland has is their lack of power. Only three Oakland players have at least 10 home runs: Kevin Kouzmanoff (14), Kurt Suzuki (12), and Jack Cust (12). Oakland’s top power-prospect, Chris Carter, is still in search for his first big-league hit. As of Sunday, Carter is 0-for-29 and has piled up 13 strike-outs—definitely not the most ideal way to start out your career. The A’s hope that Carter can get something going in these final two weeks of the season, so he’ll have some experience heading into next season.
The A’s, who are known throughout the league as one of the ‘small-market’ teams, could have some spending money next season. Eric Chavez’s $12 million and Ben Sheets’ $10 million will be coming off the books this offseason, and the A’s are not expected to pick-up Chavez’s $12.5 million option for 2011. Essentially, the A’s will $20+ million to play with this offseason. That money could be used to land a big bat. In fact, if Oakland wanted to, they could sign a big-bat and then go out and trade for another—following this season, they will have many options.
Topics: AL, AL West, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Jack Cust, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Kurt Suzuki, MLB, MLB Teams, Oakland, Oakland A's, Oakland Athletics Pitching, Playoffs, Promotions, Starting Rotation, Texas Rangers, Trevor Cahill, Vin Mazzaro