#25 Oakland Athletics
2016 Run Differential: -108
Best Offseason Move: Signing Rajai Davis
Worst Offseason Move: Trading Danny Valencia
On the surface, the Oakland Athletics have the look of a rebuilding franchise.
The A’s finished at the bottom of the American League West last season, and posted the seventh-worst run differential in the league in the process.
Oakland recently flipped Rich Harden, Josh Reddick, Marc Rzepczynski, Coco Crisp and Billy Burns at last season’s trade deadline and seem set to rebuild around the likes of Sonny Gray, Ryon Healy, Jharel Cotton, Marcus Semien, Frankie Montas, Ryan Dull and Grant Holmes.
However, the Athletics’ moves in the offseason didn’t exactly line up with that of a club looking to rebuild.
Veterans Trevor Plouffe and Santiago Casilla signed with the team, as did a pair of former Detroit Tigers outfielders in Rajai Davis and Matthew Joyce.
If the young pitchers on the A’s staff can perform at a high level and the offense improves, Oakland could make some noise on the outside of the playoff picture.
However, the club is stuck in a loaded division with three legitimate title contenders in the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.
The division is filled out by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who are in definite win-now mode.
Because of the other four teams, Oakland could very well improve and still be stuck in the American League West cellar.