The Oakland Athletics were once known as one of the scrappiest underdog teams in the MLB. But heading into the 2023 season, it’s clear that the Athletics are in the middle of an ugly rebuild. After finishing the 2022 season with the second-worst record in the league, things don’t look likely to be getting any better in 2023.

The Athletics were basically just a collection of veteran players that nobody else wanted last season, and the results were unsurprisingly disappointing. For so long, the “Moneyball” Athletics were able to defy expectations and make playoff runs with underrated teams. But now, the underrated talent is gone; Oakland is just bad.

Still, there’s a season to be played in 2023, and it will be interesting to see whether or not the Athletics can begin to develop some young players on their roster. With Spring Training officially upon us, let’s take a look at three bold predictions for the Athletics in their upcoming campaign.

3. Seth Brown will hit over 30 home runs

If you didn’t know that Seth Brown led the Athletics in home runs in 2022, you probably aren’t alone. Brown has made first base his own for Oakland over the past two seasons, but it’s not really due to him being good, but rather a lack of other viable options at the A’s disposal. And with Sean Murphy getting traded this offseason, Brown is pretty much the only slugger the Athletics have left.

Brown’s numbers in 2022 weren’t awful (.230 BA, 25 HR, 73 RBI, 11 SB, .749 OPS) but his batting average is just too low. Still, Brown can hit some bombs, and he’s able to draw enough walks to keep his OPS at a respectable rate. He’s not really in jeopardy of losing his job either considering the state of the Athletics.

Brown will be at the center of the A’s lineup for better or worse, but considering the production we have seen from him over the past two seasons, it seems reasonable to expect him to be able to take another step forward in the power department. Brown will surpass the 30 home run total for the first time in his career, but don’t expect his batting average to make a sizable leap.

2. Mark Kotsay will get fired midway through the season

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Mark Kotsay knew he wasn’t exactly getting himself into a great situation heading into the 2022 season with the A’s, but things have managed to get even worse for them in a very short amount of time. If you thought the Athletics were bad last season, they really have only gotten worse over the offseason.

This puts Kotsay in a tough spot. He’s going to have unrealistic expectations of keeping one of the worst rosters in the MLB competitive, which simply isn’t feasible. It’s not really fair to him, but he’s been put in a spot where he almost can’t win. This Oakland team is going to be bad, and chances are Kotsay is going to get caught in the crossfire.

There’s not much Kotsay can do to make this team good, but the A’s will end up being worse than expected (more on that in a minute), forcing the front office into a tough decision. That decision will see them fire Kotsay midway through the season, as the Athletics try to find a scapegoat for their losing ways. We see this happen frequently in sports, and Kotsay will simply become another casualty of the A’s rebuild.

1. The Athletics will finish with the worst record in the MLB

The Athletics finished with the second-worst record in the MLB last season, and in 2023, they will take home the distinction of the worst record in the majors. From top to bottom, the Athletics roster isn’t good, and they are going to undergo a painfully bad 2023 season as a result. Even worse, it doesn’t seem like there’s an immediate answer to make this team good either.

As previously mentioned, the Athletics traded away their best hitter in Murphy over the offseason, leaving their lineup barren. Their pitching staff isn’t much better, as their bullpen is filled with castaway arms, and their starting rotation has just one guy with an WRA below four last season. Typically rebuilding teams have a lot of prospects coming up soon, but the Athletics have just two top-100 prospects in their system according to

The Athletics are not in a good spot, and things likely won’t change until they end up relocating, which seems all but inevitable at this point. Oakland has very little talent on their team, and practically no reinforcements coming their way either. Things won’t be good for them at all this season, and by the time all is said and done, they will have the worst record in the MLB.