OAKLAND -- The A’s possess a young core of players who are only at the beginning of forming what could be something special in Oakland for the next several years.
Entering a year with World Series aspirations, here’s a look at the 30 players the A’s will carry into the regular season on Opening Day.
The A’s will roll with two rookies behind the plate. Murphy, Oakland’s No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is likely to get the majority of playing time, though his recent injury history means Allen could get a fair amount of playing time. Allen, who was acquired from the Padres in the Jurickson Profar deal this offseason, is highly thought of in the organization for his offensive capabilities. The left-handed-hitting catcher has drawn some comparisons to former fan favorite Stephen Vogt, though Allen’s defense might need some improvement, according to scouts.
First base (1):Matt Olson
Olson is one of a few infielders who have their spot secured, not only providing a powerful bat in the middle of the order, but also Gold Glove Award-caliber defense.
The potential for a left-right platoon between Barreto and Kemp is possible, but with a 60-game regular season, whichever of the two gets hot at the plate first could eventually take over the spot on an everyday basis. You also can’t forget about Rule 5 Draft pick Machin, who impressed the club during Spring Training as he went 10-for-30 with two doubles and five RBIs. Pinder is a utility man who will spend time at several positions.
Shortstop (1): Marcus Semien
Semien earned some AL MVP Award consideration for his spectacular 2019 campaign, and given his status as one of only five players in the Majors to have appeared in all 162 games last season, don’t expect many days off.
Third base (1):Matt Chapman
Emerging as one of the true stars in the game, the All-Star and American League Gold Glove Award winner has the hot corner secured for years to come in Oakland.
Laureano will take back his spot in center field after a brief move to right at the end of last season as he eased his way back from injury, and Canha’s breakout season likely earned him the job in left, though Grossman and Pinder could see time at the spot. After an injury-filled 2019, Piscotty is healthy and should get a bulk of the time in right.
Designated hitter (1): Khris Davis
2019 was an uncharacteristic year for Davis, who for the first time since '15 did not hit at least 40 home runs. His track record and the two-year extension he signed last season will keep him as the DH to begin the year, as he looks to get back to his prolific slugging ways.
Montas anchors the rotation with the first Opening Day start of his career. Manaea will get a full workload after a shoulder injury limited him to just five starts in 2019. Fiers is the veteran of the staff who also happens to be coming off the best season of his career. Bassitt and Mengden fill the spots that were originally set to be filled by Oakland’s top two pitching prospects in Luzardo, who will begin the year pitching in relief as he builds his arm up back from a positive COVID-19 test, and A.J. Puk, who is on the injured list with a shoulder strain.
Hendriks is coming off a dominant All-Star campaign. Petit had his club option picked up after another strong season. Trivino will look to get closer to his dominant 2018 rookie numbers after a poor 2019. Diekman and Soria return as veteran arms who have gained the trust of A’s manager Bob Melvin. McFarland is a newcomer who provides the club with a second lefty in the bullpen. With starters expected to be on a strict pitch count early in the season, Smith, Wendelken and Petit could all be used in multi-inning roles. Weems, a former catcher who converted to pitcher in 2016, earned a spot on the club and will make his Major League debut at some point in 2020.