Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Oakland AL West Predictions

This is part 1 of Insider Steve’s 2012 AL West Know Your Enemy Series. He’s has already released his 2012 American League West Handicapping Preview & Predictions.

Think about how far the Oakland A’s have fallen since their last LCS appearance in 2006.

It’s alright, I’ll give you a moment to let it soak in. It’s a story that sounds all to familiar with small market clubs. It isn’t as sad as it is the reality of today’s MLB.

It goes without saying the A’s were one of the biggest successful enigma’s of the early 2000′s winning 664 games with 6 seasons of 90+ wins and 4 division titles from 2000-2006.

Since 2006 – the A’s have lost 428 games with only one season at .500

I think it’s fair to assume the rest of the league has caught up with Oakland’s way of constructing a roster. Most of the teams that Oakland out gunned in the early 2000′s, now are privy to the exact same statistical information.

In some cases, these teams are doing a better job of scouting and in other instances, constructing a better roster.

The 2012 version of the Oakland A’s way of building a baseball team can be seen from the fallout from 2006.

Because the A’s, much like Tampa Bay, do not draw the revenue in the same stream as other franchises, (stadium) the A’s were either forced to trade away stars or were unable to re-sign its top players from last year’s 74-88 team.

The 2012 season really started for the A’s on October 30th, 2011 when they elected to make David DeJesus, Josh Willingham, and Hideki Matsui (.245/.325/.409/.734, 51 HR, and 216 RBI’s combined) free agents.

The biggest losses came less then 2 months later when Billy Beane shipped off Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzales (28-26, 3.64 ERA, 166 ER, 354 K’s, 1.371 WHIP in 409.2 IP combined) in separate deals.

Those five players in terms of value, combined for a 10.9 WAR in 2011.

In case you were wondering, the A’s were a 30.1 WAR as a team, which was ranked 25th in MLB.

Without the threat of power from Willingham or Matsui in that lineup, it now has been transformed into a one that will rely heavily on timely hitting from average OBP% producers Kurt Suzuki, Daric Barton, and Scott Sizemore, but will also rely heavily on speed at the top the order with Coco Crisp and Jemile Weeks.

In addition, Billy Beane felt he has adequately replaced last years power production with 44 HR’s and 152 RBI’s in Jonny Gomes and Yoenis Cespedes, and Beane could add to that.

The biggest losses came less then 2 months later when Billy Beane shipped off Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzales

Manny Ramirez is set to take his physical later on this week.

Even with the loss of Cahill and Gonzalez, it really didn’t hurt the the overall depth of the staff to much of the degree of guys like Willingham, and Matsui could’ve added to the lineup.

I’m not saying these two losses were just a drop in the bucket, not in the least, but the A’s already had one of the deepest staffs in baseball in 2011.

They still return Brandon McCarthy, Dallas Braden, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, and Jarrod Parker to the rotation.

They added Bartolo Colon to the mix in free agency, and once Brett Anderson returns from Tommy John surgery, the A’s will still possess a deep enough, and talented enough rotation to be able to keep Oakland in most games.

The A’s Bullpen is their biggest strength in terms of overall depth.

They go five deep with situational performers Jerry Blevins and Grant Balfour, set-up guys Joey Devine, Brian Fuentes, Neil Wagner, and closer Fautino De Los Santos.

When you add in middle relievers Andrew Carignan and Graham Godfrey, now all of a sudden you have a staff with the ability to extend the game from the 5th or 6th inning if needed.

Even with their pitching staff being able to keep the A’s in almost every game, they still stand to lose a bunch of one run, and two run ball games.

There are a ton of question marks surrounding this lineup. Will Yoenis Cespedes’ Cuban numbers translate into MLB success? Can they really rely on Jonny Gomes at DH? Will they even be able to consistently get those timely hits from the rest of the lineup.

There are too many variables that have to go right for this club to reach .500.

The small ball philosophy is calculated one on the part of Billy Beane.

It’s a dangerous proposition because it can only go one of two ways.

Really well, or flame out really quick.

There is no steady medium with this philosophy, but unfortunately this is the way Oakland is forced to play baseball.

For Oakland A’s fans’ sake, let’s hope Beane’s formula strikes pay dirt, because if this doesn’t work, (it never does) the A’s season will get out of hand really quick.

Oakland A’s 2012 Projected finish : 4th place – 62-100

© Insider Steve for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: 2012, 2012 A.L. West Projections, 2012 MLB predictions, 2012 Projected Finish, AL West, American League West, Athletics, Baseball Predictions, baseball projections, Billy Beane, Know Your Enemy, MLB Predictions, MLB Projections, Oakland, Oakland A's, Oakland A's predictions, Oakland Athletics

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL teams shed Top 5 salaries, eye free agency

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall in trade with Bears

With Hunter Pence out, Giants have options

Dustin Pedroia on confidence after grand slam: 'Just watch'

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Ndamukong Suh: Show him the money

Who is the 'franchise player' at each sports network?

WATCH: Duncan Keith makes young girl's dream come true

Top 10 storylines to watch in spring practice

Analyzing the top-five free agent quarterbacks

Five NBA players set to make biggest impact down the stretch

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ndamukong Suh: Show him the money

Winston's film vs. Oregon is why scouts love him

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall

With Pence out, Giants have options

Analyzing the top-five free agent QBs

NBA players set to make biggest impact

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.