A's lineup stable heading into offseason

A's lineup stable heading into offseason

OAKLAND -- Even after a third consecutive last-place finish, the A's don't expect to make any sweeping changes this offseason. Rather, their to-do list appears short.

This greatly reflects the years-long work and subsequent progress made by these A's, whose late-season surge with a young core offered hope for future sustained success.

"The balance this offseason is we want to stay disciplined long-term," A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said. "We had a number of guys who came up and performed well, and we have some more guys coming. Next year will be an advancement of what we did this year."

Free agents: None

Arbitration-eligible players: Outfielders Khris Davis and Jake Smolinski; infielder Marcus Semien; catcher Josh Phegley; and righties Kendall Graveman, Blake Treinen, Chris Hatcher and Liam Hendriks.

What's missing?
Not much. The A's want to stay the course with their young talent, which could translate to a fairly quiet winter for Beane's crew. The A's lineup is largely set going into Spring Training; the infield will feature Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie and Semien, with Davis, Dustin Fowler, Matt Joyce, Chad Pinder and Boog Powell the favorites to share time in the outfield. There is no shortage of options in the rotation, though the club could potentially seek outside options for a veteran presence. That leaves the bullpen as a target for upgrades.

Chapman's RBI single to center

Who to sign long-term?
After committing to a full rebuild in the middle of the season, the A's want to build around a couple of their prospective long-term core pieces. Locking up some of these young cornerstone players via long-term contracts is a priority, which Beane made clear last month. That process, he said, has already started through conversations. Olson and Chapman stand out as candidates for these type of extensions, as does left-hander Sean Manaea.

Davis' mammoth drive

What about Krush?
The A's slugger is due for a big pay day: roughly $11 million via arbitration, based on projections made by MLBTradeRumors.com. It's a fair sum -- Davis is coming off consecutive seasons of at least 40 home runs and 100 RBIs -- albeit a pricey one for these A's. Beane and general manager David Forst acknowledged as much at season's end, while also noting his worth, with Forst saying, "I don't think you could overstate the impact he has on the rest of the lineup." Extending Davis could assure the A's some cost certainty, but should he be deemed too expensive, the A's would have to at least consider dangling him on the trade market.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.