It is almost that time we have been waiting for. All around the game, pitchers and catchers are getting ready to report, with the remainder of the team arriving in the following few days. This is a time where even the most pessimistic fanbases cannot help but feel a bit of optimism as a new year brings untold opportunities.
We now know when the Oakland A’s will be heading their way to spring training. As it turns out, pitchers and catchers will report in a week’s time, with the rest of the roster arriving on the 22nd.
Hope springs eternal for the Oakland A’s
It is easy to be pessimistic when it comes to the A’s in 2021. After all, they did not do much in the offseason until this past weekend. Even their trade of Khris Davis for Elvis Andrus, while it filled a hole on the roster, was a bit of a salary dump for the upcoming season. This trade also allowed them to bring Mike Fiers back without any additional spending.
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Yet, even with the quiet offseason, the A’s still have a strong core. If Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and Ramon Laureano can bounce back to being the players they were in 2019, that is a solid trio. Sean Murphy showed the potential to be a future star behind the plate. The lineup could be solid once again.
The same can be said for the pitching staff. Despite inconsistencies during the season, Jesus Luzardo and Sean Manaea can still take another step forward. Chris Bassitt was a revelation in the rotation, and will be counted on to be a key part of the team. Although Jake Diekman has never been a closer, he dominated in 2020, leading to the hope that he can be a weapon.
Yes, the gap in the AL West appears to have closed. The Astros have upgraded their bullpen, and the Angels have continued to add to their roster. But the A’s core is still intact, and maybe, if fans are allowed at the stadium, they will find the money to improve at the trade deadline. Hope springs eternal once more.
Every long journey begins with that first step. For the Oakland A’s, that will happen on February 17 when pitchers and catchers are officially due to report.