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2023 MLB Season Preview: Oakland Athletics

The guys in the green-and-gold are probably in for a humdrum season and a last-place finish in Oakland.

Atlanta Braves v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics are coming off of their first 100-loss season since 1979 and while they could be better in 2023, a last place finish in the AL West seems likely. On the field, the Athletics are in the midst of a rebuild that has seen them move big-ticket players such as Matt Olson, Sean Murphy, Matt Chapman, and Frankie Montas for younger prospects. Off the field, there are looming questions as to whether the team will remain in Oakland long-term or seek a possible move to Las Vegas.

Expectations for 2023

ZiPS projects Oakland for a 72-90 record and another last place finish in the AL West. The Athletics spent the offseason bringing in some cheap veteran talent in Aledmys Diaz, Jace Peterson and Jesus Aguilar in hopes that they can help keep things respectful on the field. The pitching has some intrigue, as the additions of Shintaro Fujinami and Drew Rucinski combine with prospects like Ken Waldichuk, J.P. Sears and Kyle Muller to give fans something to watch. That said, even the additions feel like baby steps for a franchise that probably won’t show much urgency until its stadium situation is settled, and has to continue relying on outwitting the opposition in an era where innovation is hard to keep secret for long.

Projected Roster per Roster Resource


  1. Tony Kemp - 2B
  2. Ramon Laureano - RF
  3. Seth Brown - 1B
  4. Jesus Aguilar - DH
  5. Jace Peterson - 3B
  6. Shea Langeliers - C
  7. JJ Bleday - LF
  8. Nick Allen - SS
  9. Esteury Ruiz - CF


Manny Pina - C
Ryan Noda - 1B/OF
Aledmys Diaz - UTIL
Cristian Pache - OF


Paul Blackburn - RHP
James Kapriellan - RHP
Drew Rucinski - RHP
Shintaro Fujinami - RHP
Ken Waldichuk - LHP


Trevor May - RHP
Zach Jackson - RHP
Dany Jimenez - RHP
Domingo Acevado - RHP
Sam Moll - LHP
Chad Smith - RHP
Kirby Snead - LHP
Adam Oller - RHP

Biggest Strengths

Per FanGraphs’ Depth Charts, Oakland is 26th in the majors in projected WAR, ahead of only the Tigers, Reds, Nationals and Rockies. From a position player standpoint, the catcher tandem of Shea Langeliers and Manny Pina are projected to be the Athletics’ biggest strength. Langeliers will be in his first year as the starter following the Murphy trade. Pina will be looking to bounce back from a lost season in Atlanta after undergoing season-ending wrist surgery.

Elsewhere, Ramon Laureano sticks out on the roster as a productive regular that seems destined to be trade bait in the near term. Laureano struggled in 2022 after returning from a PED suspension, posting just 0.9 fWAR in 383 PAs, with underwhelming performance on both sides of the ball, but is projected to be a reasonable bounceback candidate.

Depth Charts has Oakland’s rotation ranked 24th heading into the spring, but there are a number of options there. While the group is probably missing top-end talent, there are enough options that you can see a path to them carving out some success.

Biggest Weaknesses

At this point, it is hard to see where the offense is going to come from in Oakland. They signed Jesus Aguilar in hopes that he can bounce back after a down year with the Marlins that ultimately led to him getting released. Cristian Pache co-headlined the Olson trade with Langeliers, but will come into the spring fighting for a roster spot. Oakland prioritized getting outfielder Esteury Ruiz from Milwaukee in the Sean Murphy trade, which muddies the path to playig time for Pache, who is out of options.

Overall, Oakland projects to have a ton of weaknesses around the diamond, and heads into the spring with the worst-overall projections at first, as well as bottom-five placements at short, third base, and DH. Aguilar hasn’t been good since 2018, Nick Allen hasn’t hit at all despite glowing defensive play at short, Jace Peterson’s great 2022 was driven by stellar defense that goes against his career-to-date, and the team just doesn’t look like it has anywhere near the depth to get a reasonable array of bats in the lineup on any given day.

Reinforcements from the farm

On the farm, Tyler Soderstrom is a Top 100 prospect again and could find himself in the majors at some point in 2023. Given the players that Oakland has traded away the last two seasons, there is some degree of angst that the syste has no other Top 100 prospects to go along with Soderstrom. Muller and Waldichuk may not break camp with the team, but should figure into the rotation at some point. Infielder Zack Gelof just missed several Top 100 lists and could be a factor at some point in 2023 as well. Then again, the Oakland braintrust has never really aligned with outside evaluations, so the franchise itself is probably less concerned about this than the fans.

Braves history/outlook against the team

The Braves swept four games from the Athletics in 2022, outscoring them 33-17. As part of the new balanced schedule, they will make one trip to Oakland in 2023 for a three game series on May 29-31.

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