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Oakland A’s Preview: What does a 50-win team from last year look like this season?

Since 2000, only three teams have had a worse record than the Oakland A’s 50-112 season last year. There is no team in the league with more uncertainty around it than the A’s. With the move to Vegas in flux, their options are becoming very limited. Rumors about playing in Oracle Park and sharing a stadium with the Giants are possible for now. It’s hard to argue with the Vegas mayor and be a little hesitant about a team coming into your market with no urgency to put out a winning team. Without any real star power or competitive players, nobody is buying A’s jerseys and attending games. The roster assembled last year was much closer to a minor league club than any major league team. Despite John Fisher being ultra-cheap, you would think you need to make a few key moves to be more competitive after last season.

Projected Offensive Lineup:

The projected starting lineup against a RHP looks like this below according to FanGraphs.

OrderPlayerPositionOn Roster Last Year?
1Ryan Noda1BStarter in 2023
2Zach Gelof2BStarter in 2023
3Brent RookerDHStarter in 2023
4Seth BrownRFStarter in 2023
5Shea LangeliersCStarter in 2023
6JJ BledayLFStarter in 2023
7Esteury RuizCFStarter in 2023
8Abraham Toro3BTrade (MIL) Nov 2023
9Darell HernaizSSMinors
BenchTyler SoderstromC/1BYes
BenchJordan DiazINFYes
BenchAledmys DiazINF/OFYes
BenchMiguel AndujarOF/INFWaivers Nov 2023 via (PIT)

The Oakland A’s were dead last amongst all teams in OPS, AVG, SLG, Total Hits, and in Runs. It is tough to think the Oakland A’s will have much more production than they did last season with only 2 new additions to the lineup that slot in at 8 and 9 in the order. As a fan its hard to support a team that doesn’t seem to be taking the necessary strides to be better than they were the year before. Tanking in baseball doesn’t often work out like in other sports due to the uncertainty of the MLB Draft. It is especially hard to project if high school prospects will turn out to be really good MLB players. To make matters worse, the Oakland A’s farm system is ranked 28th by FanGraphs. It will not be easy to build a team from a weak farm system that refuses to spend in free agency.

Projected Pitching Staff:

The projected pitching staff for the 2024 season according to FanGraphs.

RolePlayerOn Roster Last Year?
SP1JP SearsStarter
SP2Paul BlackburnStarter
SP3Alex WoodFree Agent via (SFG)
SP4Ross StriplingTrade Feb 2023 via (SFG)
SP5Luis MedinaStarter
CLMason MillerYes
SULucas ErcegYes
SUDany JimenezYes
MIDScott AlexanderFree Agent via (SFG)
MIDTrevor GottFree Agent via (NYM)
MIDSean NewcombYes
MIDKyle MullerYes
LRMitch SpenceRule 5 Dec 2023 via (NYY)

The A’s have made a few more moves on the pitching staff than the lineup this offseason. Three of the five pitchers played right across the Bay for the San Francisco Giants last season. Trevor Gott has also played for the Giants from 2019 to 2020. Alex Wood is very excited about the move to the A’s as he was fed up with the ever-changing rotation and being moved back and forth from Gabe Kapler to the bullpen. The A’s pitching staff was bottom 5 in the league in SO, WHIP, AVG, BB, SV, SVO, and ERA. Almost every important category was dreadful last year, and they hope to improve with the 5 new pitchers brought in.

Predicted Record: (55-107)


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