Take two steps forward...pause, twirl, one step back. Now, side step and back.
Billy Beane has been dancing all over the Anaheim Marriott. He's dancing as deliberately as he can, waiting for serious partners to stabilize. Braves in. Braves out. Orioles in. Orioles out. Red Sox trying to cut in. Yankees standing behind the Red Sox. Yet Beane, whether feigned or not, has his attention focused on an old friend (DePo).
Meanwhile 400 miles north in the East Bay, AN sits and waits for word that any one of the Big Three pitchers has been traded, which will subsequently result in mass hary-cary. Hudson, Mulder and Zito have become the colorful bait dangling from the boat while Beane kicks back with a Corona, patiently waiting to see who pokes their head out of the water.
Billy is playing his own private game of up-the-ante through the press. No doubt that DePodesta wants Hudson, but Billy wants the most for his horse, regardless of who his friends are. I imagine that a big part of Beane's impetus has been to try and get the Braves involved again.
Beane badly wants Giles. And Billy usually gets want he wants. Eventually. He may not get Giles with this particular deal, but keep an eye on this development down the road. Especially if Hudson is traded and the A's struggle out of the gate. Schuerholz is a lot more likely to part with Giles for a pitcher like Mulder or Zito with two years on their deals as opposed to Hudson.
But back to the dance at hand.
Hudson is a chip, but he may not be turning out to be the precious chip Beane thought he was prior to the meetings. Yes, he has a .700 win percentage, but the fact that Billy is denying access to Hudson for contract negotiations could be hurting his position. The only teams that would pay that handsomely for one season of a pitcher of Hudson's caliber are teams that will be in contention for the World Series next year, such as the Red Sox, Yankees and Cardinals. The Red Sox and Yankees have nothing the A's want. And the Cardinals may have pitching to send to Oakland, but they don't have any bats to send the A's way.
I understand why Billy is denying access to Hudson for negotiations because then Huddy would dictate Beane's dance partner. We all know that Beane doesn't like to have his options limited.
So, where does that leave Billy? It would appear that only the Dodgers, Braves and possibly Orioles could offer enough to entice the A's into a deal.
Then again, that doesn't account for the three-way deal.
That's one crowded dance floor.