www.oaklandathletics.com has kicked off it's winter meetings coverage:
Mychael Urban writes up a nice little preview for the winter meetings but, admittedly, doesn't really tell us anything we (at least at AN) don't know.
The Winter Meetings Checklist is the same type of thing, but they are still fun to read.
Also written by Urban is a great article about being inducted into the Cape Cod League HOF. (side note: Eric Byrnes played there as well). Also in the article is a part about Swisher beeing excited with the Loaiza signing, while also chiming in on the big bat needs of the A's."I think we've got four, five, maybe six guys who could pop 20 homers or more," he said. "[Eric] Chavez is a lock, and then you've got Bobby Crosby, Jay Payton, Dan Johnson ..."
He neglected to mention himself, but his rookie output makes his inclusion to that group a given.
"Obviously everyone would like to have that 40-homer guy, but I like what we've got, too," he said. "And the thing is, we've got a lot of young guys who are only going to get better. A guy like Crosby, he's just finding his home run swing -- Johnson, same thing. And I'm going to get better there, too, if I have anything to say about it.
"I think we might be a little more powerful than people think. I'm really looking forward to Spring Training. This team is going to have a lot of fun, and so are the fans."
I was once told (when i was CIT'ing, by the head counselor) that there are three types of love.
- Love of your family.
- Brotherly love.
- Love of your mate.
Another side note: Anybody watch Amazing Race 7? Did anyone else think that Chuck looked sorta like Nick Swisher?
Yet another side note: Epsiode 9 of lost was a thriller. I literally shivered over and over again when "Dad?" appeared on that screen. Incredibly annoying how the next episode will only be aired on the 11th of January. I also have a whole theory about the island which i would share, maybe in the comments section.
Next on the winter meeting front for the A's (all from Rotoworld):
According to the Oakland Tribune, the A's will talk to Mike Piazza's agent Dan Lozano at the Winter Meetings. Not much more to say about that.
On the Barry Zito front: According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Rangers called the A's on friday to express their interest in Barry Zito. As Rotoworld duely notes, Beane is one of the few GM's not afraid to trade within the division. That stupid newspaper was suggesting a package of Kevin Mench and Ian Kinsler though. Also, in Slusser's fine article about Barry Zito and his thoughts of being traded, she writes that "the Rangers are offering Kevin Mench (so far)". Make sure to check out that article, there is a lot of nice information.
My analysis: As Rotoworld also notes, the A's would be sure to ask for Danks or Diamond as well. Mench is a nice piece, potentially hitting 30 homer from the right side and he's cheap. And although he doesnt' walk much (50 times in 557 at bats), he only struck out 68 times for his power numbers. Problem: His numbers the last two years are helped by his home splits, so i'm not sure. Mench, Danks, and something else (Joaqin Arias?) is a nice package, there are other potentially better ones though.
Also, Buster Olney weighs in on it in his blog.The free-agent market is terrible, with the suspect A.J. Burnett remaining as the most prominent starter available, and there aren't many 28-year-old healthy former Cy Young winners being floated in trades. Now that Beane has Loaiza in hand, and has an ace-in-waiting in Rich Harden, he's in perfect position to tell other teams: Look, we'll trade you Zito, but you have to give us exactly what we want. And if you don't want to do that, there will be 10 other teams that will.
Zito becomes a free agent after next season and in light of the fact that Burnett is weighing an offer of more than $50 million from the Blue Jays, Zito would be in line to get something in the range of $72 million over six years next fall (if he stays healthy, and if he does not show some regression, as he did at the end of 2004 and into the first days of 2005). Oakland is not going to pay that kind of money, so it makes sense for Beane to at least explore Zito deals right now.
Where does Zito land? The Dodgers have good prospects to offer, and so does Texas; the Rangers want Zito, and Beane worries much less than other general managers about dealing within his division. The Yankees don't have the kind of prospects needed to get Zito right now; the Red Sox do. St. Louis could make a play. The Cubs have some talent to deal, if they wanted to make a play.
And lastly, good news about Rich Harden: He will not pitch for Canada in the World Cup in March. The official reason is because of rehabbing his non throwing shoulder