Oakland Athletics



Oakland Athletics

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Team Strengths: The A’s have a long history of homegrown power hitters, from Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire to Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada to Matt Chapman and Matt Olson today. With Chapman, Olson and astute trade acquisitions Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty all back, the A’s return most of the lineup that finished third in home runs and fourth in runs scored last year. A relief corps that finished third in bullpen ERA is largely back as well.
Team Weaknesses: Injuries eviscerated the A’s starting rotation last year to the point that 13 different pitchers made at least five starts. They finished 17th in starter’s ERA (4.17) and will be without top starter Sean Manaea (shoulder) and midseason saviors Trevor Cahill and Edwin Jackson (free agency).
What They Did About It: The A’s re-signed Mike Fiers and Brett Anderson and brought in Marco Estrada in free agency to bolster the staff. Beyond them, the team will rely on pitchers it acquired as prospects—Jharel CottonDaniel Mengden, Frankie Montas, Chris BassittPaul Blackburn— to step up. Top prospect Jesus Luzardo is waiting in the wings if they falter.
Final Outlook: The strength of Oakland’s offense and bullpen should keep the A’s competitive, but a lot is going to have to break right with their young starters to approach 97 wins again.

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