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Think Like Billy Must

It's been a nice run for Jermaine Dye as an Oakland Athletic. He nearly carried the team to glory in 2001, performing at an MVP level for the last several months of the year. He had suffered terrible injuries during his stint in green and gold which significantly slowed him down and ultimately, he will not be back.

Now right field is open for the A's.

The A's could hand over the position to Eric Byrnes or Nick Swisher (Swish could wind up at first) or even a healthy, possibly non-switch hitting Bobby Kielty, but more likely that help will come via a trade or free agent.

So for all of you that will be frothing at the mouth over Magglio Ordonez (believe me, I am too), he will not be an option unless Schott suddenly decides to up the payroll by 30-40 percent. So we need to get that option out of our minds and think more realistically.

Think more along the lines of someone like Austin Kearns. Yes, the kid has had numerous injury problems, but so did Erubiel Durazo before he arrived in Oakland. Kearns is a cheap option, always a consideration in Oakland, and he has a high ceiling with the power/patience combination that Billy drools over (.372 OBP and .837 OPS from 01-03; excluding injury-riddled 2004--Dye had a .318 OBP and a .743 OPS during the same time frame).

Kearns struggled this year when he was healthy (he may not have ever been healthy) but that puts him squarely in the crosshairs for someone like Billy Beane.

The A's have a ton of young pitching to deal and the Reds are starving for good young pitching. So this sounds like a perfect match.

There will be a ton of speculation about what Billy will do in the coming weeks, but we need to realize that unless Schott suddenly decides that winning is more important than profit, we're not going to see people like Ordonez in green and gold.

Think more like Billy must think in the Oakland constraints. And unfortunately that's more Kearns than Ordonez.