A's retooled roster set to take back the AL West

Despite offseason changes, Oakland believes it will contend for postseason

A's retooled roster set to take back the AL West

OAKLAND -- The A's are hardly recognizable following a winter-long makeover, but their expectations remain the same:

Compete for a fourth consecutive postseason appearance with a deep, versatile lineup and bountiful pitching depth.

Coco Crisp, the longest-tenured position player in Oakland, heads the top of this new-look lineup, with newcomers Ben Zobrist and Billy Butler expected to assume the pivotal 3-4 spots, following the departures of sluggers Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss.

From there, manager Bob Melvin has options.

Josh Reddick's return provides flexibility in the form of a hitter who can hit fifth, sixth or seventh, or even in the middle of the lineup against right-handers. Newcomer Brett Lawrie is of a similar mold, as his speed makes him a suitable fit for the No. 2 hole on occasion when he's not hitting near Reddick.

The starting pitching staff, meanwhile, is far from set, with as many as six arms vying for three open rotation spots. Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir will head this group, while Jesse Chavez and Drew Pomeranz, both of whom gave the A's several quality starts last year, will compete with a bevy of new candidates: Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt, Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin.

2014 record
88-74, second in the American League West

Projected batting order
1. CF Coco Crisp:
.246 BA, .336 OBP, .363 SLG, 9 HR, 47 RBIs in 2014
2. LF Sam Fuld:
.239 BA, .321 OBP, .342 SLG, 4 HR, 36 RBI in 2014
3. 2B Ben Zobrist:
.272 BA, .354 OBP, .395 SLG, 10 HR, 52 RBIs in 2014
4. DH Billy Butler:
.271 BA, .323 OBP, .379 SLG, 9 HR, 66 RBIs in 2014
5. RF Josh Reddick:
.264 BA, .316 OBP, .446 SLG, 12 HR, 54 RBIs in 2014
6. 3B Brett Lawrie:
.247 BA, .301 OBP, .421 SLG, 12 HR, 38 RBI in 2014
7. 1B Ike Davis:
.233 BA, .344 OBP, .378 SLG, 11 HR, 51 RBI in 2014
8. C Stephen Vogt:
.279 BA, .321 OBP, .431 SLG, 9 HR, 35 RBI in 2014
9. SS Marcus Semien:
.234 BA, .300 OBP, .372 SLG, 6 HR, 28 RBI in 2014

Projected rotation
1. Sonny Gray, 14-10, 3.08 ERA in 2014
2. Scott Kazmir, 15-9, 3.55 ERA in 2014
3. Jesse Chavez, 8-8, 3.45 ERA in 2014
4. Drew Pomeranz, 5-4, 2.35 ERA in 2014
5. Jesse Hahn, 7-4, 3.07 ERA in 2014

Projected bullpen
Closer: Tyler Clippard , 1/7 saves, 2.18 ERA in 2014
RH setup man: Ryan Cook , 3.42 ERA in 2014
LH setup man: Eric O'Flaherty , 2.25 ERA in 2014

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.