The A’s will enter spring training with one of the youngest rosters in the Major Leagues.
There is a drawback to that, albeit a small one. When MLB.com just came out with its annual list of the top 100 prospects, the A’s only had one player on the list. Shortstop Addison Russell, who turned 20 on Thursday, ranks 12th.
Beyond that, nada for Oakland.
Bob Melvin ended the 2013 season with a bullpen he believed was the best he’d ever had at his disposal.
The relievers A’s manager Melvin called on last season went 24-18 with a 3.22 earned run average. The bullpen was the backbone of a second consecutive American League West title. The relievers won or saved 70 of the A’s 96 wins.
Now with spring training’s start drawing close, the manager says the Oakland bullpen for 2014 could be his best ever.
You may have read that John Jaso will head into spring training as the leading contender for the A’s designated hitter chores this year.
Jaso has read it, over and over again. Such is the power of the internet.
But the veteran catcher, whose contract with Oakland for the 2014 season was just finalized, doesn’t take all that talk all that seriously.
If there is one team in the Major Leagues that doesn’t need Masahiro Tanaka, it’s the Oakland A’s.
That apparently doesn’t mean that the bidding for right-handed free agent starting pitcher from Japan will go on without the A’s having input.