The A's Opening Day starter will be righthander Carlos Reyes, who has only 10 career starts and four lifetime wins—the fewest wins by an Opening Day starter since the Colorado Rockies' David Nied (three career wins) in 1993.
Oakland's new closer is Jim Corsi, 34, who has two career saves—321 fewer than Dennis Eckersley, who was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in February.
BIG MAC ATTACKED
First baseman Mark McGwire, who last season had the best home-run-to-at-bat ratio in history (39 dingers in 317 at bats), injured his right arch this spring and is sidelined indefinitely. McGwire missed most of the 1994 season with an injured left arch. A's manager Art Howe, an eternal optimist, found the bright side: "At least he doesn't have any arches left to hurt," he said.
The Oakland payroll—including $3.2 million it's paying toward the salaries of Eckersley and Danny Tartabull, who was traded to the White Sox—is about $20 million, lowest in the majors.
In the off-season Oakland lost its manager ( Tony La Russa), leadoff man and leftfielder ( Rickey Henderson), ace ( Todd Stottlemyre) and closer (Eckersley). Now McGwire is gone for an extended period. This will be a long season in Oakland.