The A’s suffered a ton of injuries this past season, and while the A’s are merely idle spectators right now, the team does have a couple of players on the mend. The A’s have received some good news on pitchers Joey Devine and Josh Outman. If you can remember far back enough, Devine was the A’s impressive reliever who went 6-1 with a 0.59 ERA in 45.2 innings in 2008. Unfortunately, Devine was injured in 2009 and underwent Tommy John Surgery last year.
Devine, 27, is still talented enough to make a big difference in the bullpen next season. Adding Devine to a pretty strong ‘pen that includes Andrew Bailey, Craig Breslow and Brad Ziegler would do wonders for the Athletics next year. As for Outman, he too will be a big addition next season if he’s healthy.
Outman, 26, has not pitched since the 2009 season, where he went 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts for Oakland. Received via the Joe Blanton deal, Outman does have the potential to crack the starting rotation, especially if he is healthy this coming spring. In fact, Spring Training should be rather interesting as Outman, Vin Mazzaro, Bobby Cramer and possibly even Tyson Ross will be competing for the fifth spot in Oakland’s starting rotation.
Mazzaro, 24, is talented but has yet to live up to his potential with the A’s. Mazzaro has dominated in the minors, but has not been able to have the same success in the majors. He spent most of his time with Oakland in the starting rotation before being sent down to Triple-A in September. He made 18 starts this year, going 6-8 with 4.27 ERA.
The A’s, who ranked near the bottom in most every offensive category this season, will be shopping for a bat or two this winter. The A’s are figured to have at least $22 million freed up since the team will have Chavez’s $12 million and Sheets’ $10 million coming off the books this winter. The A’s could use the money to land a hitter, and if they wish, trade a player (like Mazzaro) in a package deal to land a second hitter. Either way, the A’s will have shopping to do this winter, and Mazzaro might end up being shipped in the process.
Meanwhile, OF Michael Taylor, one of Oakland’s top hitting prospects, has been enjoying his time in the Arizona Fall League. According the A’s official site, the slugger belted his second homer of the fall season, and has been enjoying his while putting a frustrating season behind him. In 127 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the A’s prospect hit .272/.348/.392 with just six home runs and 78 RBIs. The power simply was not there in his first season with the organization.