-- Randy H., Walnut Creek, Calif. I don't think Tomko will be around next year. He's a great guy, and he's been a great story while he's been here, but he's likely to draw some pretty decent free-agent offers over the winter, and the A's have more than enough starting pitching to be just fine without him. As for the rotation, I think Dallas Braden has a pretty good shot at again being the Opening Day starter; he's the leader of the rotation and has had the best season of any starter who pitched for most of the year. If he's healthy, I'd make him the No. 1.
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I watched Chris Carter play first base in the Triple-A playoffs and was not impressed, to say the least. He butchered at least two extremely routine plays. That said, what a hitter. He needs to be in Oakland next year. So the question is: at what position? Can he play left field at all?
-- Cory F., Davis, Calif.
-- Thomas K., Cupertino, Calif. He's doing well. He started a throwing program a while back, and he's jazzed about being quite a bit ahead of schedule. The hope is that he'll be ready for the start of Spring Training, but the A's will bring him along slowly either way. The goal is to have him ready for Opening Day, and barring a setback, that's realistic. And exciting for A's fans. A back end of the bullpen featuring Devine, Andrew Bailey, Michael Wuertz (arbitration-eligible) and Brad Ziegler would be awfully tough, and with a reliable lefty or two -- Craig Breslow has been solid, and he and Jerry Blevins are under club control next year -- in the mix, six quality innings is all the team would really need from the young starters. Bailey: American League Rookie of the Year?
-- Martin R., San Diego I'd be surprised. He has more saves than Huston Street had when he won it, but the A's were still a pretty high-profile team in 2005. Being on a West Coast team doesn't bode well for Bailey, either. Nor does being a pitcher. I have a feeling Elvis Andrus of the Rangers is going to get the nod because he plays on a team that's been in contention until very recently, and he's an everyday player at a premium position. Would you trade Street, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith for Mortensen, Brett Wallace and Shane Peterson? I wouldn't.
-- Andy H., Larkspur, Calif. I see where you're going with this, and I think it's a little unfair. You left out getting three months of an unproductive Matt Holliday and all the money his jersey sales generated.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less