The Oakland Athletics wrapped 81-81, which marked their best record and first non-losing season since reaching the 2006 ALCS. The 2010 Oakland A's road excellent starting and relief pitching out of the AL West cellar, but relatively poor hitting kept them from contending for the American League West division title. They received enough timely hitting to be a tough out, but it became clear by season's end that hitting needed to be improved if this team was going to contend for a playoff spot.
As we head into November, MLB free agency has begun with some big names freeing themselves up. The A's have the opportunity to free up a considerable amount of money by shedding some unnecessary contracts, which would put them in a position to add at least one impact player, if not multiple such players.
As the team moves through the offseason their offense does have some positive developments to build on moving forward. The primary development has to be outfielder Chris Carter. While Carter's only hit .186, it was a nasty slump to start his MLB career that caused the poor batting average. However, an impressive September has put him in a position to do some serious damage in 2011. He's got a nice compact power swing that A's announcer Ray Fosse actually compared to Hank Aaron. While Fosse is certainly prone to exaggeration about the A's, it's certainly nice to see some potential power developing in the farm system.
Whether Chris Carter develops into a big bat or not, the Oakland Athletics will need to make some additions on the offensive side of the ball if they want to take the next step forward. Their pitching has some small holes, but is otherwise in fairly good shape.
We'll be here all offseason providing regular updates on the Oakland A's dealings. They've got plenty to deal with whether it be expiring contracts, arbitration issues, free agency or even potential trades. We'll have all the news for you. For more detailed breakdowns of each story, make sure and check out Athletics Nation.