Key figures of the 2009 Oakland Athletics
Matt Holliday - LF
The Athletics traditionally trade established names for prospects, but they made a big splash this offseason when they acquired Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies. Last season Holliday hit .321 with 25 home runs and 88 RBIs.
Jason Giambi - 1B
Jason Giambi came up through the A's organization and manned first base from 1995-2001 before departing to the Yankees for a monster contract. He signed a one-year deal to come back to the A's after hitting .247 with 32 homers and 96 RBI last season with New York.
Eric Chavez - 3B
Eric Chavez has been one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball and has been a vital cog in the A's offense since coming up in 1998, but he's become more known for being injury prone. Due to lingering back and shoulder problems, he only played in 23 games in 2008 and 113 games over the last two seasons.
Billy Beane - General Manager
Billy Beane is one of the game's most well-known general managers. Because of his team's success since he took over in 1997, Michael Lewis wrote a critically acclaimed book, Moneyball, documenting Beane's use of sabermetric principles to run his team in a cost-effective way.
Justin Duchscherer - SP
Justin Duchscherer was one of the A's most reliable relievers and an All-Star as a reliever, but last year he moved into the starting rotation. Luckily for Oakland, he enjoyed similar success in the new role. A hip injury cut his season short, though, and is threatening to keep him from pitching opening day.
Orlando Cabrera - SS
Orlando Cabrera smiles at a news conference announcing his signing with the Oakland Athletics. He was signed to a one-year deal and takes over the starting shortstop job from Bobby Crosby.
Brad Ziegler - RP
Brad Ziegler is presented with a framed photo of himself by A's manager Bob Geren in recognition of Ziegler's record-breaking 39 scoreless innings by a rookie. The submarine style pitcher recorded 11 saves and could see more closing opportunities along with Joey Devine.
Joey Devine - Closer
Joey Devine posted an impressive 0.59 ERA in 45.2 innings pitched for the A's last season and is penciled in to be Oakland's primary option at closer.
Nomar Garciaparra - Utility
When healthy, Nomar Garciaparra is still a dangerous bat in the lineup. The injury-prone veteran will be used in a utility role so he won't have to endure everyday wear and tear. He will likely see most of his time at third and first base to spell Chavez and Giambi, respectively.
Jack Cust - DH
Jack Cust may have led the league in strikeouts the last two seasons, but he was also able to smack 33 homers and rack up 111 walks in 2008. It was the second straight year in which he led Oakland in home runs.
Bob Geren - Manager
Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren during spring training. Geren has a 151-172 record in his two seasons.