Billy Beane has this great way of looking at things when it comes to being able to let certain guys go. For example, when Miggy left, he said we'd be okay because Crosby and Dye would put up better numbers than Miggy and an injured Dye put up the year before. With Thomas leaving, he probably thought, it'd be okay because Piazza and in healthy Crosby will be just as good as Thomas and an injured Crosby were last year. All of which is to say, Billy doesn't mind letting people go (ie. the Big Three, Miggy...you know the All Star team we could have formed)
Knowing that, here is my list of players who are untouchable and should be on the 2008 roster.
1B/OF Nick Swisher
3B Eric Chavez
Everyone else, let's be honesty, are guys we like but can be replaced. There is a reason we can get away with a low payroll.
Which means if we can trade anyone not listed above to improve the club for 2007 and/or beyond, we should. Agreed?
The Blue Jays apparently know they won't be able to resign Vernon Wells and are looking for pitching help now that Lilly and Meche are gone. They need a 3-5 starter, we just happen to able to part with one (Loaiza, Blanton, Windsor, Kennedy) and maybe throw in a quality back up (Perez, Scutaro, Kietly, Melhuse) too.
I know we're too cheap to sign Wells to an extension so this will be a one year rental and you should be fine with that. In fact, if this is to work, you'd have to be fine with that. We're working on 2007's World Series roster now since we've agreed 2008 and beyond can be filled by left overs, pick ups and/or prospects.
What other players are able to be had this off season? Tim Hudson? No one wants him because he "heading in the wrong direction" but the Braves are looking for a salary dump and might take three mid-grade prospects like we did to get rid of him. Hell, we can even throw in a (Flores, Witasick) to help them with that joke of a bullpen. And maybe a year back in the AL West will be good for him to prove he's still got it before you flip him for prospects or something next season.
Well, we missed out on Garcia, didn't we? And Manny's not a one year rental so he's out too. Doesn't look like Miggy's going anywhere. So, since there's been talk of him being available for pitching help, I thought I'd throw out a long shot in the form of one Mark Teixeira. Maybe work out some three way deal with LA to get Brad Penny (who's available - say some of the same guys I used to get Wells) and throw in DJ and Kotsay (the Rangers need a CF and Wash had to love him).
All of which, in my dream world, would make out 2007 line up:
C Kendall (I'll have Billy Beane is a genius tattooed to my ass if he can trade him)
with a rotation of
Granted the rotation is a little weak, but with that line up, a Saarloos/Kennedy/Windsor/Komine/Williams/Meyer bottom two doesn't have to exactly be a Hudson, Mulder, Zito.
I know it won't happen. I know not even the great Billy Beane could pull off a trade of Wells (even though him a JP are close and the Blue Jays have something we could give) or Hudson (Billy's ego is probably too big to admit this wasn't his finest hour) or Teixeira (three way trades really isn't something Billy's good at and I'm sure Texas would want more than a replacement 1B, Starting Pitcher and CF--though they need all three)
Hey, a fan can dream, right?