Athletics

Athletics

The A's have yet to make any significant moves during the offseason. The Jurickson Profar trade was the highlight of the transactions thus far, but their needs remain in the bullpen and still finding an everyday second baseman.

With those needs in mind, the outlook for the 2020 season for the Green and Gold remains unknown. What we do know is the team desperately hopes to avoid history repeating itself.

Earlier, I tweeted a bold prediction for the A's to face the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series -- that was pretty bold ... but not necessarily out of the question. 

Here are five more attainable predictions for the A's upcoming season.

Big trade at the deadline

Remember the defeated look on Dallas Keuchel's face in 2017 when the Houston Astros didn't make any significant trades at the deadline? Then -- BOOM -- Justin Verlander was on the team a month later. Yeah, something like that -- only the A's will more than likely not acquire a pitcher like Verlander, no matter how well he pitches at the Coliseum.

It can cause some worry for those excited for the young talent if a trade would require some prospects, but A's vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane likes to keep things interesting. He's mentioned before if the team is around the .500 mark at the deadline, they will be aggressive, especially without that Aug. 31 waiver deadline. 

 

Here's thinking the A's are one of those aggressive teams. 

Winning the AL West

The Astros have continued to be a thorn in the side of the A's season after season. But that could change in 2020. 

With Houston saying goodbye to Gerrit Cole, who will sport pinstripes next season, that could give a slight edge for the A's to dominate the division. 

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten the fact that the Angels got the studly third baseman Anthony Rendon to assist in making that fight to the finish interesting, but neither have the A's. 

The constant headache of losing the one-and-done wild-card games is a subject A's manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst are tired of discussing. It's imperative the team is successful enough to win the division and forgo the game that has forced the A's to pack up and ship out early the last two years.

Just win the whole dang division so the team can skip out on the do-or-die game. 

Chappy, MVP

Matt Chapman is the best defensive third baseman in the game.  His former high school teammate Nolan Arenado has not only praised Chapman, but said the A's star probably better than him at this point.

On top of earning consecutive Gold and Platinum Glove Awards, he's been in AL MVP discussions for the last two seasons as well. That's a start.

His Steamer projections on FanGraphs has him hitting 30 homers next year and increasing his batting average. To be fair, his .249 average last season didn't characterize what he did overall. 

Luzardo, Rookie of the Year

Jesús Luzardo's pitching debut was worth the wait and anticipation. Despite a few setbacks, he owned a 1.50 ERA and 0.667 WHIP while surrendering just five hits in six big-league games and 12 innings.

Across three minor-league teams last season, he was strong as well, with a 2.51 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 43 innings. 

Fans and prospect hounds were left wanting more, and that's exactly what they'll get in 2020. 

He's already listed as the A's intriguing Rookie of the Year possibility next season according to MLB Pipeline, and should be in the A's starting rotation come Opening Day.

Khris Davis returns to form

When Khris Davis was in the midst of his slumps last season, Melvin knew the A's would pick up for him as KD did for the A's when they needed him the most. Davis fell victim to a left hip contusion when he collided with the left-field wall against the Pirates on May 5. 

He wasn't the same after that. Throughout frustrations and loss of confidence, the snowball effect occurred from then on. 

When the season concluded, Melvin and Forst doubled-down on the fact that designated hitter would bounce back. He has to.

 

[RELATED: Eight memorable moments that defined A's decade]

The .247 consistent hitter who is known for hitting balls over the fence signed a two-year, $33.5 million contract extension with the team last April. 

In 2018, Davis led the league with 48 home runs and now, he leaves a season behind hitting a .220/.293/.387 line with just 23 home runs.