2012 Roster Projection: Oakland Athletics

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Second baseman Jemile Weeks #19 of the Oakland Athletics turns a double play to end the seventh inning after forcing out Mark Trumbo #44 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 23, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Ladies and gentlemen, the focus is now officially on 2012. For all of us, except for maybe Cardinals fans, it's time to move on from 2011. This year is so last year anyways. So here at MLBDD we're spending some time projecting each team's 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012. We're not projecting trades or free agent signings here, so this is purely focusing on the talent that each team already has in-house. The 2012 season may not start soon, but we can still think about what it might look like.

Starting Lineup (ages are based on April 4, 2012)

Catcher: Kurt Suzuki - Age 28

First Base: Daric Barton - Age 26

Second Base: Jemile Weeks - Age 25

Third Base: Scott Sizemore - Age 27

Shortstop: Cliff Pennington - Age 27

Left Field: Chris Carter - Age 25

Center Field: Ryan Sweeney - Age 27

Right Field: Michael Taylor - Age 26

Designated Hitter: Brandon Allen - Age 25

Batting Order

1. 2B Weeks 2. 3B Sizemore 3. CF Sweeney 4. C Suzuki 5. DH Allen 6. 1B Barton 7. LF Carter 8. RF Taylor 9. SS Pennington

Bench

C Landon Powell, IF Eric Sogard, IF Adam Rosales, OF Cedric Hunter

Starting Rotation

1. RHP Trevor Cahill - Age 24

2. LHP Gio Gonzalez - Age 26

3. RHP Brandon McCarthy - Age 28

4. RHP Guillermo Moscoso - Age 28

5. LHP Josh Outman - Age 27

Bullpen

Closer: RHP Andrew Bailey - Age 28

Others: LHP Brian Fuentes, RHP Grant Balfour, LHP Craig Breslow, RHP Joey Devine, RHP Fautino De Los Santos, LHP Jerry Blevins

Some Quick Thoughts

  • Expect the A's to add some outfielders this winter. All three of their 2011 starters, David DeJesus, Coco Crisp and Josh Willingham, are free agents, so we're likely to see a bit of a youth movement in the outfield. Sweeney is likely to regain his starting gig in 2012.
  • The situation at first base is likely to impact the outfield situation, given that a couple of Oakland's better young hitters are limited to those positions. The team needs to find room for guys like Barton, Carter, Allen, Taylor and Kila Ka'aihue, but it's hard given their defensive limitations. They're probably hoping that one or two of these guys stands out in the spring.
  • Oakland's missing a couple of key starting pitchers that are rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in lefties Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden. Braden will be back before Anderson and might even be able to get back for the beginning of the season, but for now the A's aren't banking on having either one for Opening Day.
  • I wouldn't be surprised if the A's added some pitching or traded some away. They have a solid rotation right now and could have some nice depth when Braden and Anderson come back, but they may be interested in trading someone like Gio Gonzalez if they think they can get an exceptional return.
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