As many of you already know, the A's seem to be leaning towards keeping Haren and Blanton and making a run in 2008.
Now I wouldn't necessarily read too much into that just because I know that Beane often likes to build the foundation of a deal at the Winter Meetings and then letting the teams come to him after they sit on a potential deal for a while. The A's front office often doesn't make moves at the Winter Meetings. Mid-December usually seems like their time to get things done.
That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if the A's stuck with the team they have. The A's, as Zonis mentioned in his diary yesterday, could probably compete for the AL West in 2008 because the Angels haven't really accomplished anything to put them that far ahead of the A's (the major caveat being IF the A's are healthy). Obviously, as with every year with this recent version of the Athletics, a ton depends on the golden right arm of Rich Harden. If he's somehow healthy in 2008, the A's have a rotation that could match up with nearly any rotation in baseball.
I do believe the offense will be better this year, especially if the A's add someone like Barry Bonds (God help us all). I know that would probably mean watching Jack Cust displaying his defensive prowess in left field rather than just holding a stick, but the A's would actually have quite a bit of thunder in the order. And all Bonds would be doing would be swinging a bat. I really can't stand Barry Bonds and it won't be the most endearing move for me as an A's fan, but I can't deny that Bonds' presence would help this lineup score a ton more runs. Not to mention, Eric Chavez has always been in love with Bonds and I can imagine that if Barry decides that it's worth his time, he could actually help Chavez tap into some of Eric's endless potential. Bonds may be an asshole with few redeeming qualities, but the man understands hitting probably better than anyone since Ted Williams.
Now, I don't think that Beane is 100 percent sure that he is still going for it in 2008. He's probably 70 percent sure. Things could drastically change over the next few weeks, but I do think that it's going to take something like Santana winding up in Boston for Billy to do it because a big market club like the Yankees would probably panic and offer Beane what he's been looking for all along (and rightfully so considering Haren's quality and age). It's just funny, I've been glued to ESPNEWS all week and very little has happened. What's even better is watching Karl Ravech, Steve Phillips and Peter Gammons trying to fill the hours they've been allotted for coverage. There just isn't anything there.
Any way, we'll see where the A's go from here. I do believe that Beane is leaning towards going for it in 2008 because it seems like they only have one team bidding for Haren and that isn't going to bring you back the best package. In order for the A's to get something done, the Twins had to set the market and no one has been willing to do that. Course that could change in a heartbeat so stay tuned.