CATCHER: As they tend to do at a lot of positions, the A's rely on a platoon, with Bruce Maxwell taking the at bats versus righties and Josh Phegley stepping in with a lefty on the hill.
INFIELD: The left side lines up to be Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien. Matt Olson locked down first base with Jed Lowrie brought back to play second.
OUTFIELD: Khris Davis should be the full-time DH, and with Ryon Healy dealt to Seattle, he may land there, but for now let's call him an outfielder. Matt Joyce is back to swing versus righties. Boog Powell showed enough to get a long look, but isn't a sure thing, especially with Dustin Fowler expected to be healthy. Other candidates include Jaycob Brugman, Mark Canha and Chad Pinder.
DESIGNATED HITTER: If it's not Davis, Pinder is the best option, showing some pop last season.
BENCH: All the outfielders listed at the end are reserve fodder.
ROTATION: When Kendall Graveman is your ace, you better hope your offense comes through. That said, Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton offer reasons for optimism along with Daniel Mengden and Andrew Triggs. In this strikeout-happy culture, Oakland doesn't really have the arms to take advantage. Jesse Hahn, Chris Smith and Raul Alcantara are in the mix.
BULLPEN: The club dealt away their best relievers, leaving closer to Blake Treinen. I'm not optimistic he keeps the job. That said, no one from Ryan Dull, Santiago Casilla, Daniel Columbe, Chris Hatcher or Liam Hendriks inspire much confidence. Newly acquired Emilio Pagan could work himself into high-leverage situations, maybe even ninth inning duties.
PROSPECTS TO WATCH: Fowler was mentioned with the outfielders. He was the centerpiece, along with Jorge Mateo, in the Sonny Gray deal with the Yankees. Fowler ruptured his right patella tendon in his MLB debut but is on pace to be ready in the spring. Mateo could be summoned sometime next summer. Despite looking overmatched, Franklin Barreto is still a big part of the A's future, somewhere in the middle infield.
POSSIBLE ACQUISITIONS: Billy Beane usually fills in the blanks with low-salary pieces. I don't see any as being a fantasy asset, unless he signs a decent starter since The Coliseum is a good place to pitch.
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