Five Major Questions for the 2016 Oakland Athletics

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

How will the team deal with veterans like Coco Crisp and Billy Butler?

Who will back up Coco Crisp, with his chronic neck problems? What is the succession plan, and when will it be implemented? Mark Canha is putting up impressive numbers, and he could fill the bill, but at some point, the A’s are going to have to make a commitment to replace the beloved veteran on a more permanent basis.

Billy Butler is another veteran who had a less than stellar season, though his WAR improved ever-so-slightly. Will he be able to step up and provide a solid season at the plate? He had an impressive run in September, showing promise of past numbers, but for the most part he’s been a flop, and his contract makes it difficult to move him. The question may come to – is it worth playing him with lousy numbers, or does the team eat the contract and stick him on the bench?  He’s unlikely to bring anything in a trade, and might be difficult to move at all without sweetening that deal with some young talent. Will he bounce back in 2016 and earn that paycheck?

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