Offense: Less than 24 hours ago, the A's
Defense: The free agent signing of OF Coco Crisp (expected to miss up to the season's first eight weeks with a fractured finger) and the acquisition of 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff were made with an emphasis on run prevention. The A's are solid up the middle with Suzuki behind the plate, the eternally underrated glove work of Mark Ellis at second base and Crisp or Davis in CF. Thankfully, the comedic defensive stylings of Jason Giambi, Bobby Crosby and Adam Kennedy on the infield corners in 2009 is no more.
Starting Pitching: The A's will open with a rotation of Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer, Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez. If everyone's healthy (Sheets, Duke and Braden are all coming off of injuries) and has their head on straight (Gonzalez is wound pretty tight and can be temperamental on the field) this could be a strong set of arms. It's foolish, though, to count on universal health for a team that's had so much trouble keeping guys on the field in recent years. And, when the best case scenario for the A's $10 million ace is dealing him at the trade deadline, it's hard to get my hopes up.
Bullpen: AL Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey is the closer, but after that, every relievers' role will be up in the air for the season's first few weeks. 22-year-old Tyson Ross (a top 10 A's prospect, according to most accounts) breaks camp as a set-up man and Brad Ziegler's "groundballosity" will be back in the middle innings. They'll be better when Michael Wuertz (opening the season on the DL) returns and pushes one of the current bullpen question marks (Edwar Ramirez, Chad Gaudin) off the roster.
Prediction: 73-89, 4th place.