I disagree with all the people thinking that since we won't contend, the time to sell is now. That we should make moves now to get rid of some players and build towards next year. I'm not going to debate the "can we still contend this year" issue. We've done that enough. However, let's assume that we won't contend this year, why would we start dumping players in May? That's stupid.
If the A's are going to be sellers this year, they should wait until the trade deadline approaches, and contender and bubble teams are looking for that one piece they need to get to the playoffs now. Durazo may not look good to teams now, but a lefty with some pop (who hit .320 last year, btw) would look very good to a team who needs one more bat to shore up their lineup. Zito would be worth a fortune to a team who wants to beef up its rotation for the playoff drive. Byrnes could provide the spark for a bubble team to roll into the playoffs.
If the A's are gonna get rid of all these guys (plus Dotel), now is not the time to do so. We need to rape the market when teams are getting desperate near the deadline to make a move. Then they will be willing to give up a bit more. Our young guys would still get half a season of big league experience under their belt before they take the reins next year, and we would get more key pieces to keeping us as contenders for years to come.
So, for all of you out there who think this season is lost as far as contention goes, you should be hoping for maximum value in return for our players we plan to get rid of...and that will happen if we sell later rather than earlier.