If there is one thing that ‘Moneyball’ taught us about the Oakland A’s, it’s that they do not need to be big spenders in order to put a winning team on the field. The defending American League West Champions for the past two seasons did not have many needs to address with their young, sabermetrics based team.
2014 Oakland A's Preview - Hitters & Pitchers
Not many big changes occurred with their lineup, and they will still be relying on their young studs to carry them on both sides of the team. The offense will be carried by Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Jed Lowrie. While the lineup does not have any incumbent All Stars, they will be worth a look to fill out your roster, especially Cespedes and Donaldson. On the other side, now proven starters Sonny Gray, Jarrod Parker and Dan Straily are back to show their 2013 campaign was no fluke. I am high on these three, and to me all three are low risk options that can be major players on any fantasy rotation.
2014 Oakland A's Preview - Offseason Departures
Notable players that left the team include SP Bartolo Colon and Brett Anderson (the latter by trade to Colorado,) CL Grant Balfour and C Kurt Suzuki. While Colon has had a resurgence with Oakland, he is now with the Mets which means at the least he will see a decrease in wins. Anderson has only started 11 games the past two seasons, and is a high risk/reward sleeper for Colorado. Balfour has yet to find a home after having issues with his physical with Baltimore. While likely not a major issue, this should be viewed as a red flag and be looked at with caution. Suzuki is now with Minnesota, which will likely lead to a decrease in major stats by playing with a less efficient lineup.
2014 Oakland A's Preview - Notable Additions
Additions to the 2014 team include SP Scott Kazmir, CL Jim Johnson (traded from Baltimore,) OF Craig Gentry, and IF Nick Punto. Both pitchers should be looked at cautiously if you look to draft them. Kazmir surprised most by returning to form with Cleveland last season, and would not be a shock if his performance dropped this season. Johnson, saves leader the past two seasons, saw a dip in his stats last year. While still among the elite of closers, Chapman, Kimbrel and Uehara might be better options if you wish to take a reliever early. Gentry and Punto will likely be utility players, but worth a look if any of the starters go down
While the team looks about filled, there is still plenty of time for the A’s to make some moves before Spring Training. They are not rumored to be in on any of the major Free Agents left on the board, but that has never stopped a team before. Stay tuned for more in depth fantasy previews of the A’s, and all of your favorite MLB Teams from now until opening day and beyond.