Acquiring Kendall (and his hefty no-trade contract) seemed to indicate that the A's would indeed try to contend in 2005, but now trading two aces might appear to put a question mark on the Kendall deal. As good a player as he is I don't believe he's considered a great mentor of young pitchers (I could be wrong on that second part, just don't know).
But here's another wrinkle: Kotsay's contract contains a clause allowing him to declare free agency after each year. When he was signed he said he wasn't likely to exercise that clause since the A's are a contending team What do the A's moves in the last two days say to Kotsay?
Not that I don't have confidence in BB, I do. But there must be more to these moves than we've seen so far.