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Billy Has Left the Building

If anything happens with Frank Thomas, it won't happen until after Thursday because Billy Beane has officially left the Winter Meetings.

In Urban's story, Beane openly discusses his pursuit of Frank Thomas...and exploring options with Mike Piazza. This tells me that the trade market for a hitter is very quiet or they're demanding too much in return.

But the real snag in getting Zito dealt is the fact that it's probably unlikely anyone could sign him to a long-term deal. Especially when you consider that A.J. Burnett got 5 years at $55 million. How much does that make Zito worth? 6 years, $70 million? More?

I bet Billy had a few nice words for his buddy J.P. Ricciardi. Something along the lines of, "Yeah, thanks for shrinking the market, Steinbrenner, Jr."

I'm just kidding of course. But still, it would make it very hard for anyone to acquire Zito knowing the chances of keeping him beyond 2006 are slim to none.

Should be an interesting next few weeks.