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2023 MLB season preview: AL West

Oakland Athletics 

The Oakland Athletics are at the very beginning of a rebuild and this season is going to be a rough one. Oakland has the lowest payroll in the MLB with a little over $40 million, according to spotrac.com. The season will be spent seeing what the team has amongst the young talent the A’s have acquired in trades like the Sean Murphy deal they made over the winter. 

Esteury Ruiz will be someone to pay attention to, especially with the new rule changes. Last season in the upper minors, he stole 85 bases. His speed has made him a threat once he’s on base and this season could certainly be one where he gets a lot of steals if given the chance. Rookie Tyler Soderstrom has the best chance of taking a huge step forward this season. 

Pitchers Kyle Muller, Ken Waldichuk and JP Sears should also have a chance to get into Oakland’s rotation along with Japanese rookie pitcher Shintaro Fujinami. The hope is at least a few of those pitchers show the ability to be a core starter in the rotation. 

Oakland will struggle this season but if the young talent that will get playing time this year pans out, the A’s could look back at this as the start of a successful run.

AL West preview MLB baseball American League West
Oakland Athletics center fielder Esteury Ruiz (1) makes the diving catch for an out against the San Diego Padres in the second inning at Hohokam Stadium. (Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)
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