The A's optioned out Jeff Fiorentino, Dallas Braden and, contrary to rumor, Carlos Gonzalez from the 28-man roster they used in Japan. That leaves the 25-man roster as follows:
Starting Pitchers: Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, Justin Duchscherer, Dana Eveland
Relief Pitchers: Andrew Brown, Santiago Casilla, Lenny DiNardo, Alan Embree, Keith Foulke, Fernando Hernandez, Huston Street
Catchers: Rob Bowen, Kurt Suzuki
Infielders: Daric Barton, Bobby Crosby, Mark Ellis, Jack Hanahan, Dan Johnson, Donnie Murphy, Mike Sweeney
Outfielders: Emil Brown, Travis Buck, Chris Denorfia, Ryan Sweeney, Jack Cust
15-day DL: Eric Chavez, Chad Gaudin
60-day DL: Kiko Calero
I'm pretty satisfied and confident about the quality of that pitching staff. If Harden can pitch, he easily makes up for the loss of Dan Haren. I think Justin Duchscherer will sneak up on a lot of people, and be an above-average starting pitcher. Eveland and Gaudin will probably fall into the talented-but-inconsistent category, but that's not bad for your fourth and fifth starters. If Foulke can keep pitching as well as he has in his last four outings (including the two that counted against the heart of the Red Sox order), then that's an awfully deep bullpen. With Lackey and Escobar out for the Angels, this is probably the best pitching staff in the AL West from top to bottom.
The defense should be at least adequate, if not good. The big question is the bats: the A's may have the best pitching in the division, but they probably have the worst hitting. The trade of Nick Swisher makes the outfield lineup look pretty darn weak. I expect a lot of 2-1, 3-2 ballgames this year, and the A's success or lack thereof may depend on where Pythagoras decides to roll his dice in all those close ballgames.