Defense, Defense, Defense.
Keeping with the theme, the A’s are also known to build their roster around good defense. The team that the Athletics fielded in 2015 was sub-par at defense, and that is putting it nicely. The Athletics led the Majors with 126 errors. To put that into perspective, the Dodgers, who had the fewest errors in baseball, had 51 fewer errors than the A’s had. That’s not good, and it is really hard to win games with an incompetent defense. Combine their brutal bullpen and defense, and it is pretty clear why the A’s finished with the worst record in the AL.
Solving their defensive issues starts internally. Marcus Semien, their starting shortstop in 2015, whom they received in a trade last offseason for Jeff Samardzija, was abysmal in the field. It was hard to watch at times. The A’s, who see potential in Semien, hired Ron Washington to help him solve his fielding issues. Semien must work hard this offseason to fix some of his fielding issues if he wants to stay in the lineup in 2016.
The Athletics need some insurance in the middle infield and Stephen Drew could fit that role. Despite his inability to hit at a high level, he continues to field at an above-average ability. He has also learned to play second base during his time with the New York Yankees, increasing his value as a dual-position player. Again, Drew could be had for cheap, which is important to note.