The season is getting closer and closer, so it's high time we delve into our bitter AL West rivals' chances at success in 2016. We'll take a look at what's new, what to expect and if we need to be worried or not. First up, the Oakland Athletics.
Some team that plays near San Francisco? I think they won a World Series back when I was in elementary school or somethin'. They also have this weird stadium that seats approximately 348,038 people but they usually only have about 9,242 in attendance so there are plenty of empty sections and corridors for you and your friends to play impromptu games of hide and seek in.
Were they even good last year?
Nope. They were NOT good. They finished last place in the West, with a final record of 68-94, so they were indeed the opposite of good. Which is great.
What'd they do this off-season?
They, like the Angels, didn't sign any big free agents or make any Earth-shattering trades, if that's what your asking. But then again, that's not really their m.o. They sent away some prospects here and there for some decent, young arms like Jesse Chavez and reliever Marc Rzepczynski. They traded away Brett Lawrie for a few prospects from the White Sox, and gave up some prospects of their own to get some OF pop in the form of ex-Brewer Khris Davis. So, nothing that's really going to raise eyebrows all over the baseball world, but diehard A's fans think there are some solid moves tucked away in there.
In other news, Brad Pitt is no longer their GM. He's their Executive VP now, and David Forst is their figurehead GM. That may have been the most noteworthy move of their off-season. I mean, it IS Brad Pitt, after all.
What is their strength?
Besides Brad Pitt, their strength will be in their young pitching core. Their 1-3 starters, Sonny Gray, Jesse Hahn, and Rich Hill, aint bad at all and could pose a threat here and there against our beloved Halos, not to mention you just know at some point they'll trot out a pitcher or two the Angels have never faced before, and the Angels will probably get no-hit by them...so there's that. They also have an interesting bullpen. They're sort of similar to the Angels right now: starting rotation and bullpen have strong points but are also big question marks. They also added some pop in the off-season, but it isn't any pop i'd be quaking in my boots over.
What is their weakness?
They have tons of guys that make you go...
So, what can we expect?
I think the A's are going to be languishing in the bottom of the West for yet another year, much to the dismay of the guy at their games that never. stops. hitting. that. drum. I think their ceiling is a fourth place finish. They could be as savvy as ever with their modest off-season moves, but they could also just be a baseball version of magician's flash paper, capable of making some fleeting surprises and excitement, but immediately their fans will be back to looking at their watches.
What's the most accurate representation of the team in gif form?