The Oakland Athletics have said conflicting statements to the media regarding their team and the offseason moves they plan to make. First of all, it has been revealed that some of the veterans just do not have the desired leadership skills, so the A’s are going to look to add some new, more amiable personalities to the team. However, since the Athletics do not want to trade away any of their top prospects, they are going to have to try to build from within this next season. It has quickly become clear that the A’s are going to have to rely on their rookies this upcoming season since this group will be the one part of the team that will not go through any changes. This is both good and bad.
Thankfully a core group of young players has already been established. Billy Burns, Mark Canha, and Marcus Semien have become the cement that this team can build themselves around. These three players have done pretty well for themselves during their first year in the MLB. Canha’s bat in the second half was on fire, Semien improved his defensive skills throughout the course of the season, and Burns was overall the best and definitely the A’s Rookie of the Year.
Even though it is nice to have a core group of quality players, these three do not have that much Major League experience. All just recently spent their first full season in the MLB. And, now the A’s want to build from their farm system and add some more rookies into the mix? It will almost be like the blind leading the blind.
Additionally, when it comes to pitching, the majority of the pitchers who are likely candidates to make the rotation have only just begun their big league careers. Even though Sonny Gray has two and half seasons under his belt, it is scary to think of this 25-year-old may be the “veteran” leading such an inexperienced group. Without an experience pitcher in the rotation, the younger starters will not have anyone from which they can learn.
If the Oakland Athletics are really going to rely on their young players, they are going to need at least one or two veterans to stick around and provide guidance. This would mean keeping around guys like Josh Reddick, Billy Butler, and Ike Davis. However, the Athletics could also try to trade those players for other veterans who demonstrate more leadership skills.
Also, Oakland is going to need some quality coaches like Ron Washington to help these rookies grow into great ballplayers. However, Washington has been the center of many trade rumors for teams searching for a new manager. Without the proper coaching, these young players may not have a fighting chance next season.
If the Oakland Athletics are going to rely on their rookies, they will need to make some minor changes in order to help them become better ballplayers such as having some veteran players and quality coaches. However, just like how the starting rotation saw many different pitchers this season, next season will be a lot of trial and error. It will be great to see some stars emerge among the younger players, but it could be another rough season for the Athletics.