Sunday, December 31, 2006

Possible 2007 A's Roster

Update: Thanks to the very useful Cot's Baseball Contracts I have updated the tentative roster below with contract numbers. Those missing are players under club control (figures not known yet) or players with whom the A's are still negotiating with under arbitration.

Antonio Perez will be back in 2007. This makes things interesting for the 25-man roster as the A's will have to decide who is the odd-man out come opening day.

As the winter continues the A's 2007 roster is beginning to take shape. The A's lost Frank Thomas only to sign another aging slugger in Mike Piazza. Zito left for a boatload of green while Joe Kennedy prepares to compete for the open spot on the rotation and the A's sign LHP Alan Embree to fill out their bullpen. Jay Payton moved on to Baltimore but Beane and Co. manage to get OF Ryan Goleski from the Devil Rays in the rule 5 draft only to find out later that he had been injured and might not be available at the start of the season. Without further ado, here are your 2007 A's as I see them now:

SP - Rich Harden - $2 million
SP - Dan Haren - $2.2 million
SP - Joe Blanton - $0.380 million
SP - Esteban Loaiza - $6 million
SP - Joe Kennedy - $2.8 million

C - Huston Street - $0.380 million

RP - Justin Duchscherer - $1.18 million
RP - Kiko Calero - $1.6 million
RP - Chad Gaudin - $0.380 million
RP - Alan Embree - $2.25 million
RP - Kirk Saarloos - traded to the Reds
RP - Brad Halsey - $0.380 million

C - Jason Kendall - $13 million
C/DH - Adam Melhuse - $0.815 million

1B/DH - Dan Johnson - $0.380 million
1B/DH - Mike Piazza - $8.5 million
2B - Mark Ellis - $3.5 million
2B/SS - Marco Scutaro - $1.55 million
SS - Bobby Crosby - $2.5 million
3B - Eric Chavez - $9 million
3B - Antonio Perez - $0.500 million

OF - Mark Kotsay - $7 million
OF - Milton Bradley - $4 million
OF - Nick Swisher - $0.380 million
OF - Bobby Kielty - $2.1 million

That's the 25-man roster as I see it now. It's possible the A's could use Scutaro as the backup for all three infield positions so that Chavez could get a rest now and then but that's doubtful as Scutaro has spent scant time at 3B and is more effective in the SS/2B positions. That means the A's could drop Halsey from the 25-man roster to make room for Antonio Perez to back up Chavez. With Goleski recovering from injury, the A's could also roll the dice with a 4-man outfield which would also allow Perez to be on the 25-man roster and Halsey to stay. It all depends on what the A's see as their most pressing need come opening day.

I also think Jeremy Brown will be called up sometime during the season and that Adam Melhuse's days are numbered. Brown is becoming somewhat old for a prospect and Beane likes him, so expect Melhuse to be involved in some kind of mid-season trade while Brown becomes the back up catcher and occasional DH.

Erubiel Durazo is an interesting mix. If he performs well in Spring Training the A's will have some interesting decisions to make. The A's made this move strictly for depth, an insurance policy for both Dan Johnson and Mike Piazza should they struggle. He may start the season at AAA Sacramento but expect him to be called up at some point or perhaps even start on the 25-man roster.

I think Beane & Co., barring another wacky season of team-wide injuries, will wisely keep Barton in a full season of AAA, with the chance to be called up come September.


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