The Oakland A’s 2023 season was one of the worst in franchise history. Finishing 50-112 with the worst offense in baseball and poor pitching to match leaves much to be desired. However, that doesn’t mean this team can’t take steps forward during the offseason. There are a number of areas the A’s front office must target for upgrades, both on the field and off.
Rule 5 Draft
The A’s took advantage of last year’s Rule 5 draft, selecting Ryan Noda with the second overall pick. Noda had a strong year for the A’s, slashing .229/.364/.406 with 16 homers and good plate discipline. While the strikeout rate is a bit high, the 15% walk rate will play, as will an on-base percentage over .350.
Despite Noda’s success, players taken in the Rule 5 draft don’t always have great outcomes. There’s a reason their former clubs chose not to add them to the 40-man roster. However, it can be a means to find talent the club otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Successful recent Rule 5 picks include Garrett Whitlock, Akil Baddoo, Jordan Romano, and Nestor Cortes Jr, to name a few.
The A’s have several needs, including the left side of the infield, the rotation, and the bullpen. If the right player is available, the A’s would be wise to take a shot on a pitcher who has a chance to stick on the roster moving forward.