This winter's free agents...

Here is a link to this winters free agents:

Now it's wikipedia so it's not that accurate (for example, Jose Guillen from the Nats is locked up through next year).  But from what I see, I think the A's will definitely be players in the free agent market this winter.  We have at least 17.5 mil coming off the books, and maybe more depending on what happens with Joe Kennedy and Barry Zito.  We can splurge on a huge free agent like Carlos Lee who can mash 30 homers and drive in 130 runs (and who is also right-handed) or we can pick up two free agent bats that are servicable for now (like Mike Piazza, whom I think we can afford after his last few years, and Reggie Sanders).  Personally, I'd like to see the A's do this.  Resign Jay Payton (he played well for us, he's a good outfielder and he provides cheap veteran leadership), and SIGN CARLOS LEE.  We need his bat big time, and he pretty much solidifies our line-up for the next few years, and gives Eric that much needed protection he desperately wants.   Everything else pretty much takes care of itself.    Say goodbye to the following players then:  Rincon, Hatteberg, Durazo and Dotel.  They are just dead weight at this point and we don't need any of them.  So that gives us this potential line-up:

  1.  Mark Ellis, 2B/RH
  2.  Mark Kotsay, CF/LH
  3.  Eric Chavez, 3B/LH
  4.  Carlos Lee, LF/RH
  5.  Dan Johnson, DH/LH
  6.  Jay Payton, RF/RH
  7.  Bobby Crosby, SS/RH
  8.  Nick Swisher, 1B/S
  9.  Jason Kendall, C/RH  
I realize that this is merely a pipe dream, but I think that's a pretty devastating lineup.  With Carlos Lee waiting behind Eric Chavez, Chavvy can be a little more patient b/c he will see pitches to hit with Carlos Lee batting behind him.  And with Macha gone, we will finally have a sensible manager that drops Jason Kendall to 9th so he can't hit into as many rally-killing dps.  And if Bobby and Nicky Swish start showing a little more discipline at the plate, they may be able to move up in the lineup as well.  Jason Kendall should never bat anywhere other than 9th in the line-up, where he can do the least damage.  Get a manager with the balls to tell him to shut up and play.  Maybe when he hits a ball out of the park again then he can be considered for moving up in the lineup.