Five intriguing A's headlines to watch in 2023 season


The Athletics are coming off only their second 100-loss season in the last 50 years. While there is widespread confidence that Oakland will outperform its miserable 2022 campaign, the real question is: by how much?

Here are five headlines to keep an eye on for the A's during the 2023 season. 

Which shortstop will emerge?

Manager Mark Kotsay will deploy a platoon on the left side of his infield with Nick Allen facing lefties and Aledmys Díaz opposing right-handers.

Allen struggled offensively in 2022, but his glove work excelled. He trained specifically over the winter to better control his lower body in the batters' box. Díaz, a .266 career hitter with Houston, hit .273 this spring with the A's. Oakland will need any offensive boost they can get in 2023 after hitting a collective .216 last season.

Shintaro Saturdays could become a big thing

Shintaro Fujinami will not pitch in the traditional rotation, but instead will have his weekly “day” on the calendar. It was a good spring for the MLB rookie, who posted a 3-0 record with a 3.86 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings pitched. The only question for “Fuji” is his fastball command after walking 17 batters across five spring starts.


The A's bullpen looks fortified with the additions of Trevor May, Jeurys Familia and the return of Dany Jiménez.  

All three can close games, and while that might be the headline, it also will mean the seventh- and eighth-inning roles might fluctuate, too. May somewhat is the “wildcard” here in his first stint with the A’s after missing time due to an injury last season, and only having recorded 12 saves in eight big-league seasons. But he also could fit into the closer role nicely. 

Esteury Ruiz as an X-factor

It was a competitive battle for outfield positions, which resulted in Christian Pache not making the Opening Day roster. But Ruiz did, and definitely stood out in the process with a .326 average during spring training.

Perhaps more important is Ruiz's speed, having stolen 85(!) bases last season in 114 minor-league games. If any fraction of that speed can translate to the professional level, Ruiz could provide the A’s a threat on the bases they haven’t had in more than a decade.

RELATED: A's 'explosive' bats tee off Giants in final Opening Day tune-up

Howard Terminal 2023 deadlines

Last, but absolutely not least, we need to keep an eye on the future of Oakland baseball.

The A’s non-binding exclusive negotiating agreement with the Port of Oakland expires in May. And while an extension to obtain Howard Terminal is not impossible, the absence of this partnership is like a home without a foundation.

Also, in Nevada, the A’s currently are lobbying for ballpark funding with state and county officials. The legislative session ends June 6th, which likely means public financing possibilities in Las Vegas could be known, understood, and possibly give us a better outlook on the possibility of relocation.

Contact Us