It was a magical season for the 2018 Oakland Athletics. A team that appeared destined to compete for last place in the American League West. Yet, instead became the first team to make the postseason while having the lowest payroll in Major League Baseball.
Unfortunately their run didn’t last long losing on the road to the New York Yankees 7-2. For Oakland to compete for the division title in 2019 ownership will need to open their wallets and spend.
Early reports already indicate negotiations with designated hitter Khris Davis on a contract extension. Still its first important to figure what the roster will look like for next season. Gone likely are Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Edwin Jackson, Jeurys Familia, Shawn Kelley and Matt Joyce. Likely to get re-signed that are free agents; Jed Lowrie and Jonathan Lucroy.
The Athletics do need to depart ways with shortstop Marcus Semien who had his best season defensively in 2018, yet floundered offensively.
Oakland is set at the corners with Matt Chapman at third base and Matt Olson at first base. At second base a platoon of Franklin Barreto and Lowrie is an intriguing option and a free agent signing of Jose Iglesias will solidify the defense at shortstop and Chad Pinder remains the utility man. Lucroy at catcher and Josh Phegley as the backup.
In the outfield is Nick Martini in left field, Ramon Laureano will man center field and Stephen Piscotty in right field. With Dustin Fowler and Mark Canha manning the bench.
So far the Athletics starting rotation for 2019 is of Mike Fiers and Frankie Montas. Jharel Cotton is coming back from Tommy John surgery and Jesus Luzardo isnt likely going to get rushed to the majors. This is where ownership needs to spend.
Besides re-signing Davis, Patrick Corbin is a starter Oakland needs to pursue at all costs. Followed by going after Shelby Miller who is reportedly becoming a free agent and more of a move the Athletics are willing to take on a pitcher who has started only nine games over the last two seasons and other options include Derek Holland pitches well at the Coliseum, Wade Miley, Nathan Eovaldi or quite possibly another reunion with an ex Athletic, Gio Gonzalez.
The closer role is set with Blake Treinen, setup men are Fernando Rodney, Lou Trivino and J.B. Wendelken. Middle relievers include Yusmeiro Petit, Ryan Buchter, Ryan Dull and a free agent option of Justin Wilson to add another lefty in the pen.
With the 97 wins in 2018 manager Bob Melvin also deserves a contract extension.
Here’s a look at the Hypothetical 25 man roster for 2019:
1. Martini, LF
2. Lowrie 2B
3. Chapman 3B
4. Davis, DH
5. Olson, 1B
6. Piscotty, RF
7. Laureano, CF
8. Iglesias, SS
9. Lucroy, C
SP : Corbin