For the first time in four years, the A's failed to make a postseason appearance. With a few big names no longer around, the A's will have to claw their way out of the cellar in the tough AL West. Remember, though, that Oakland always seems to have at least one surprise fantasy contributor. Who will it be this year?
(Note: When a player's fantasy draft status is mentioned - e.g., "he's an SP4" - the number is based on 12-team mixed leagues. ADP references are from NFBC drafts.)
Key Additions: Jed Lowrie, Yonder Alonso, Rich Hill
Key Losses: Brett Lawrie, Tyler Clippard, Jesse Chavez
1 Billy Burns CF
2 Jed Lowrie 2B
3 Billy Butler DH
4 Danny Valencia 3B
5 Josh Reddick RF
6 Yonder Alonso 1B
7 Stephen Vogt C
8 Coco Crisp LF
9 Marcus Semien SS
Oakland could very well have one of the worst hitting lineups in the AL, but you can still mine for value throughout the roster ... After stealing 26 bases and hitting around .300 most of the year, Billy Burns has an OF39 ADP. I'd rather gamble and take someone with more upside (Buxton/Pederson/Conforto/Grichuk) around that point ... The price on Josh Reddick (OF56) is much more reasonable. He really beat up on RHP last year and improved his walk/strikeout numbers. He's still only 28 ... After hitting just 15 HR in a full campaign, Billy Butler isn't an inspiring option ... Marcus Semien is a steal as the SS13. He was hot and cold last year, but he was the second best hitting shortstop in the majors for a few months out of the season ... Danny Valencia has never really been a full-time player, but he crushes lefties. It appears Oakland is going to use him as more than a platoon guy, and he hit 18 HR in 345 AB's last year. He could be worth a shot as a middle of the lineup option you can get late in your draft ... Stephen Vogt is another guy who came screaming out of the gate, but cooled down as the season went on. 15 HR with a decent average sounds about right for him ... Jed Lawrie's lack of speed and low batting average leave him off the radar ... Ditto for Yonder Alonso, who doesn't offer enough power ... Coco Crisp is 36 now and only stole two bases in 44 games ...
1 Sonny Gray
2 Jesse Hahn
3 Rich Hill
4 Chris Bassitt
5 Jarrod Parker
CL: Sean Doolittle
Oakland's staff is basically Sonny Gray, and then everyone else. Gray's 14 wins and 2.73 ERA solidified his status as staff ace, but his ADP (SP20) might be a little too aggressive. Run support is a concern, and Gray's strikeout rates are very low (7.3 K/9). He's also a BABIP regression candidate (.300 is average, Gray's was .255) and his xFIP was pretty high at 3.69. You may want to look elsewhere unless he falls ... Jesse Hahn is the closest thing to an SP2 for Oakland, but his ADP is SP98. He's a major sleeper candidate if his strikeout rates rebound to where they were in San Diego and the minors ... After that it's tough to say. Chris Bassit, Jarrod Parker, Kendall Graveman, Rich Hill and a few others will battle it out for the remaining spots. All of those guys are waiver wire material for the time being ... Sean Doolittle is a back-end closer on a team that could struggle to win games. With Ryan Madson and John Axford on the roster, Doolittle's leash might not be very long ...
Sleepers: Marcus Semien and Jesse Hahn. Semien is still only 25 years old, and the A's are committed to him as their everyday shortstop. If he can build on his 15 HR and 10 SB last year, he could be a nice option late in drafts. Hahn has youth on his side as well and should have much better health this year.
Franklin Barreto, SS: He was part of the Josh Donaldson haul, and he should have a great future ahead of him.. He's just 19, but he looks like the total package with plus power and speed. Oakland will almost certainly be patient with him, but keep him in mind as a potential late-season call-up.
Matt Olson, 1B/OF: Given the lack of talent at first and in the corner outfield spots, it wouldn't be a surprise if the 21-year-old masher finds his way to the majors. He's one to monitor closely, as he hit 37 home runs in the minors in 2014 while also leading the minors in walks in 2015.