SEE ALSO: Midseason Top 10 Prospects
It was only three years ago the Athletics were en route to their third consecutive postseason. Now the franchise continues to tumble, those days so far away.
|Athletics Midseason Top 10|
|1. Franklin Barreto, SS/2B|
|2. A.J. Puk, LHP|
|3. Matt Chapman, 3B|
|4. Sean Murphy, C|
|5. Austin Beck, OF|
|6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP|
|7. Daniel Gossett, RHP|
|8. Grant Holmes, RHP|
|9. Logan Shore, RHP|
|10. Yairo Munoz, 3B/SS/2B/OF|
Oakland is on pace for its third consecutive season under 70 wins and has the second-worst record in the American League. With an odd mix of ineffective veterans and intriguing young talent on the roster, there is no clear demarkation of when the rebuilding cycle can be expected to end.
Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie have paced the offense but are expected to be on the move in trades. Ryon Healy and Chad Pinder have emerged as potential pieces down the road, but neither looks like the cornerstones that will be needed to turn the franchise around. What's more, Marcus Semien has only played 11 games after having wrist surgery in April. The rest of the A's roster is being pushed out as more prospects are brought in as suitable present replacements.
Bruce Maxwell, Jaycob Brugman, and Matt Olson have all begun seeing regular time in the lineup since June began. Matt Chapman and Franklin Barreto were also called up in what might be an extended trial. Lately, the roster is looking very different from the opening day lineup that was an average of 30.4 years old. And A's fans are finally getting a glimpse at what this team could look like two years down the line.
Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton give the Athletics a pair of starting pitchers that could cement the team for the next handful of years. Daniel Gossett, Kendall Graveman, Andrew Triggs, and Daniel Mengden will be competing for backend jobs in the future, but all have looked capable of turning in average innings at points. Generally, the pitching is in a much better current spot than the position players.
But overall, this is a team in need of a grand overhaul, something VP of baseball operations Billy Beane acknowledged—after trading closer Sean Doolittle and reliever Ryan Madson to the Nationals for a pack of prospects and Blake Treinen, whom the A’s originally had drafted in 2011.
After years of churning through the roster, Beane said the team needs to rebuild around a core that can be kept for a number of years. That change of approach also means that when the A's look to trade, they are less focused on big league ready prospects than they have been in recent years.