A's quietly back in the playoff hunt

Billy Beane made bold moves this offseason, but the ZiPS projection system likes the outcome so far. Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

You didn't really think that Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane was done making moves, did you? There are only three things in life that are certain: death, taxes and the A's making big offseason trades. Unless you're running an AL West franchise that isn't in Oakland, that last one is by far the most pleasant.

After the trades of Josh Donaldson and Jeff Samardzija, the natural assumption by many was that the A's were throwing in the towel on the 2015 season. That assumption would have been a mistake; even with the loss of two top pitchers, it was very likely that Beane and Co. could still put together an above .500 team.

If you were one of the people who figured Oakland was done, the team's acquisition of Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar ought to have disabused you of that notion.