It’s no secret that the Oakland A’s are not expected to compete next season, but that doesn’t mean 2012 will be an entire mess. The A’s, coming off a year in which they failed to do much in the AL West, are going to have counterbalance the Angels’ recent power shift with a new “youthful” approach.
A’s GM Billy Beane is currently at work with yet another youth movement and is taking offers on some of his better players like Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey in effort to replenish the team’s farm-system. He’ll need to stockpile on all the talent he can get his hands on if he wants his Athletics returning to the realm of relevancy in what is now considered Albert Pujols‘ division.
The A’s are also banking on a new stadium in San Jose, but if MLB and Bud Selig reject the team’s proposed move to San Jose, the franchise’s current downward spiral could be continue at a more rapid pace.
The team has been waiting nearly three years now for a decision regarding the proposed move, but they haven’t received much support from Selig’s office. The team does, however, expect a decision “soon,” as Selig and MLB have seemingly picked up the pace.
The team is hoping that they’ll have a young, inexpensive, and talented squad by the time a new stadium is built. Beane’s youth movement is already underway with the team looking to replenish their minor league system with young talented prospects. Oakland dealt starting pitcher Trevor Cahill, who represented the team in the 2010 All-Star game, to Arizona for a few minor league prospects including top-pitching prospect Jarrod Parker.
The A’s, while not actively “shopping” their players, are hoping to lay the foundation for future success. Younger guys like Parker are expected to help the A’s in a much more difficult AL West division. The Angels and Rangers are both expected to be the top-dogs of the division for the next few years, with the Halos shifting the power in their favor with the additions of Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
The next few years will be especially important for the A’s in regards to player development. The A’s do have some talented players on the way, both defensively and offensively. While the A’s may not compete for a division crown next season, it should be entertaining to see some of the team’s future stars develop into big league starters.