For all the hype the "Moneyball A's" of the turn of the century received, this year's club was general manager Billy Beane's best work. He built a team with depth all over the diamond, so the lineup was able to regularly wear out opposing pitchers and never suffered sustained slumps.
Problem was, the Oakland Athletics didn't have an ace to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, and that cost them in the American League Division Series, where they lost to the Detroit Tigers in five games for the second straight year.
Now that the offseason has arrived, the A's have to face reality. There is no new stadium, not in Oakland, not in San Jose, nor is their a solution to their stadium dilemma on the horizon. In other words, they are not going to get any kind of big revenue boost in the near future, which means they have to keep hunting for bargains.
That said, they are still in great shape for next season because of Beane's fine work. Here's how I see their winter playing out.