A's in 2011: To Spend, Or Not To Spend?


Sep 27, 2010; Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starter Brett Anderson (49) pitches during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Photo via Newscom

The A's have pitching, but this offseason the team will need to focus on adding a bat or two to their offense. (Photo: Courtesy of Yardbarker.com)


With the regular season coming to a close for the Oakland A’s, it seems like an ideal time to look ahead at the 2011 campaign and what this off-season holds in store for the A’s. This season, while filled with its opportunities, was not Oakland’s year. The Texas Rangers, a team with a great offense and a surprisingly effective rotation, played exceptional baseball in the second-half of the season. The A’s, while they displayed incredible growth and maturation, did not get much production out of their offense this season.

The A’s, who spent money on players like Coco Crisp and Ben Sheets this off-season, did not see their investments pay big dividends.  Instead, both Crisp and Sheets wound up spending a majority of this season on the disabled-list. In 75 games this season, Crisp hit .279/.342/.438 with 8 home runs and 38 RBIs. While those numbers seem solid, they’re hardly worthy of a $5 million contract. The Sheets deal, which was even more questionable, was a complete flop. The A’s invested $10 million in the pitcher, and only got 20 starts and a 4-9 record in return. Sheets underwent yet another surgery, and will likely miss the entire 2011 season. It has been said that Sheets is possibly mulling retirement.

So, naturally, the A’s might be a little hesitant about spending some money this off-season. Or at least according to the SF Gate’s recent interview with A’s Owner, Lew Wolff. In the conversation between the Gate and Wolff, Wolff does not seem particularly motivated to spend much money this winter. The A’s are said to have at least $20 million coming off the books next season, as both Eric Chavez and Ben Sheets ($12.5 million and $10 million respectively) will be coming off Oakland’s payroll. The A’s do have an option with Chavez, for $12.5 million, but are almost certain to buyout the option for $3 million. The A’s also have options for Mark Ellis, who has played exceptionally well recently, and Coco Crisp, who is out for the year with a broken finger.

Ellis, who is hitting .289/.357/.372 with 4 homers and 44 RBIs, has an option for $6 million. The A’s are reported to meet with Ellis after the season ends. As for Crisp, the team should meet with him as well, since the outfielder has expressed an interest in coming back to the team next season.

If the A’s can add a bat or two this off-season, the team could easily (barring any injuries) make a run at the Rangers next season. The A’s young pitching staff seems to be finally coming into its own, and the defense behind it hasn’t been all that bad either. The only thing holding this team back is their lack of offense. If Lew Wolff wants a winner, he’s going to have to take a gamble this off-season. So SPEND SOME MONEY, Wolff!

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