Bowden: What's next for the A's?
The A’s finished the year with a rotation of Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Brett Anderson and Travis Blackley. That’s four rookie starters. Beane also completely revamped his bullpen, led by new closer Grant Balfour and hard-throwing setup relievers Sean Doolittle (a former A’s first-base prospect) and Ryan Cook.
This team has been built to last, hopefully into a new stadium in San Jose. The A’s will have to make a difficult call on Drew’s $10 million club option. Although it's a bit of an overpay, it's only one year, so the risk is low. They will definitely pick up Balfour’s bargain option ($4.5 million) and say goodbye to Colon. They would like to re-sign McCarthy, but Beane will have a tough time competing in what should be a busy market for McCarthy. Beane likely will not want to tie up that much money without a new stadium, instead relying on his depth of young arms.
They also might explore dealing Weeks while going with Pennington at second base, but you shouldn't expect a lot of changes. As the A's proved this year, they have the pitching depth to compete in the AL West, and they will try to do so again in 2013 with a similar ensemble.
You can read the rest of what Bowden writes, plus a look at the Cincinnati Reds, by clicking here.
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