The past few months have felt like years.
Expected or unexpected, four stars have been shipped out for two really good players and a bunch of potentially quality ones.
It’s as if Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane took his expensive china set and exchanged it at Costco for some paper plates, folding chairs, ground beef, and a few samples.
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If you have read anything I have written you will know I am highly optimistic about the 2015 Athletics season. Beane’s track record for taking what is considered a “meh” roster and turning it into a playoff team is unparalleled.
Unfortunately track record alone cannot win games.
As fans we cannot simply expect that when the first pitch of 2015 is thrown the A’s will be contenders. We’ve been spoiled the past three seasons to see the team defy any and all expectations and reach the playoffs.
Where do the A’s stand in your minds? On this site you can find all kinds of predictions, projections, analysis, and assessments. All of which are well written, well researched, and well thought out.
But are they right?
It is time for a reality check.
Sep 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) pitches to the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
The American League west has improved greatly with the offense-starved Mariners acquiring veteran hitters like Nelson Cruz and Seth Smith and the rebuilt Houston Astros signing or trading for every living and breathing former-Athletic, plus Colby Rasmus. The Angels acquired starting pitching depth and the Texas Rangers appear healthier.
The 18 or 19 times we play each of those teams will be hard-fought and tough games. I can see the A’s splitting the season series with each team. But don’t just take my word for it. Friend of the site Melissa Lockard previews the AL West here.
Now that Max Scherzer has gone over the National league, our old foe the Detroit Tigers are much less scary, but the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, and Minnesota Twins have made moves to improve and won’t just roll over either.
Over in the east the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and Tampa Bay Rays haven’t done much to improve. However the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays appear poised to compete.
Folks much smarter than myself predict the A’s to be a 85+ win team. I agree. I believe with the roster as it stands now is an 85-88 win team. An additional piece like Cuban prospect Hector Olivera could push us into the 90 win plateau.
However, this team will not waltz its way into the postseason like it appeared ready to do midway through 2014.
We are just a couple weeks away from spring training and I want to hear from you. How will the season go?
Vote below on what you expect from the A’s in 2015. Don’t like polls? Leave a comment and tell us your predictions for the 2015 A’s