I noticed both Perry Van Hook and Rob Leibowitz alluded to Billy Beane's moves, or sort of lack of for Billy Beane, this Hot Stove Season.
Funny, as when I saw that Beane obtained 32-year old Josh Willingham, I started scratching my head right away.
So, here is what I think.
Beane has indeed had trouble keeping outfielders healthy over the past years, and he has also had trouble getting production out of first base.
Travis Buck hurt himself out of a gig, and Ryan Sweeney has yet to play a full season despite three attempts. The door towards reincarnation was opened for Conor Jackson when he was swapped to Oakland, but Jackson dropped the knob. And, well, we knew Coco Crisp would get there, and he did, as did newly acquired David DeJesus.
So, right now, the Athletics have three true flychasers with Crisp, DeJesus, and Sweeney.
But then they have some of those LF/RF/1B kind of guys with Willingham and Jackson, both of whom can spell Daric Barton should the first sacker not generate enough sock.
So, it really looks like they have five interchangable parts, and in the process are not unlike the Giants of last year, who could move outfielders and infielders around the diamond while their good young pitching stifled every bat in sight.
With Adam Rosales there to back second, third, and short (although I actually think Rosales will earn the shortstop spot and Cliff Pennington will play the utility role) Oakland looks ok to me. Like the Giants, they do not have a star, but everyone on their squad pretty much has a track record and knows how to play the game.
Right now that looks like a good path.