A’s Look To Finish Season Strong

Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler (R) steals second base ahead of the tag of Oakland Athletics shortstop Cliff Pennington during the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Oakland, California September 25, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Will the A's bring 2B Mark Ellis back for the 2011 season? (Photo: Courtesy of Yardbarker.com)

Despite being eliminated from playoff contention this past weekend, the Oakland A’s are ready to just finish this season on a high-note. The A’s, who finished their final home-stand on Sunday, went 47-34 at home this year compared to last season’s mark of 40-41. The A’s will head to Anaheim on Monday to face the Angels, who are currently two games behind the A’s for second-place. This season has not been kind to the Angels, who lost Kendry Morales earlier this season, but they’re still trying to finish the season strong.

The A’s, who have seen their young pitching mature a bit this season, are highly optimistic about next season. The A’s do have a lot of talented young players, and are clearly on the rise. Without a few sluggers in their offense, however, the A’s could find themselves in the same spot next season: watching another team in the division celebrating. While the A’s have young guys like Chris Carter and Michael Taylor, the team could benefit from a proven slugger. This off-season, the A’s figure to have at least $20 million to spend. The A’s could really use this money for a proven hitter, and could possibly land a second hitter via trade. If the A’s can add a couple key bats this season, their chances at a playoff-birth next season greatly improve.

Eric Chavez, who made $12 million this season, has an option for $12.5, but the A’s are certain to decline. The A’s will most likely buyout Chavez’s option for $3 million. Ben Sheets, who made $10 million this season, will also come off the A’s payroll, and so essentially the A’s will have about $20 million to spend. The A’s also have options for Mark Ellis and Coco Crisp, and both have options for about $6 million each. Ellis, 33, has hit .281/.352/.363 with 4 home runs and 42 RBIs this year. Ellis, while his batting average is decent, has not hit for much power this season and will likely miss out on double-digit homers for the first time since 2003 when he hit 9 homers. The A’s could bring Ellis back next season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t either. As for Crisp, I’d say the A’s will probably go ahead and bring Crisp back for 2011. This season, Crisp has spent a ton of time on the DL, but when he did manage to play he hit .279/.342/.438 with 8 home runs and 38 RBIs. He also stole 32 bases this season, which is the highest total in his career.

The A’s have a ton of options heading into next season, but for right now, their focus remains on finishing the 2010 season in second-place.

Topics: 2010, A's, AL, AL West, Anaheim, Angels, Baseball, Billy Beane, Billy Beane A's, Chris Carter, Coco Crisp, Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis, Michael Taylor, MLB, NL, Oakland, Playoffs, Post Season, Promotions, Rangers, Regular Season, Season, Strong Season, Texas

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