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A Good Trade Doesn't Have To Be Foxy

Since the Jake Fox trade (which is totally different from "the Jeff Gray trade"), I've heard mostly two predictions in regards to Jack Cust's future with the A's: Either this means Cust will be non-tendered or traded or it means humanity will be enduring the defensive stylings of either Cust or Fox in 2010. One way, the A's very bad offense of 2009 just got a bit worse. Another way, the A's have decided to emulate their favorite company softball team out in the field. However, I really don't see either of those two as the strongest possibility.

NO! Don't jump!!! You have so much to live for!!! {sees left side of the infield} Never mind. Jump.

Remember that Jake Fox is under contract control for 5 years. Is it not possible, even likeliest, that Fox will simply be Cust's "heir apparent" at DH in 2011? Fox could certainly get some ABs against LHP in 2010 and thus combine with Cust to be an even better version of Cust at DH, and then take over as the team's "klutz who can hit and doesn't cost much."

What the Fox acquisition tells me, more than suggesting anything about Cust's immediate future with Oakland, is that the A's don't have designs on DHing Wallace or Carter over the next 2-3 years -- which is as it should be. If you look at a "5-year plan," as Beane must, Cust isn't in very much of it no matter what, and someone has to be. So don't write off Cust, or buy him a new glove, just yet.

In other news, the Marco Scutaro story -- that he turned down more money from Oakland to sign with the Red Sox -- continues a disturbing trend. Free agents don't want to come to Oakland, even when the A's open up their pocketbook and try to compete financially.

Apparently Oakland's clubhouse facilities are embarrassingly run down, and we know that attendance is so low even Thomas Edison would have difficulty discovering any electricity there on a typical weeknight. The A's have a team that figures to be good pretty soon, so "lack of competitiveness" should be less and less of a factor each year right now. Yet the results are the same: Players will pay Oakland in order not to play for them. This makes me a sad panda. New stadium, please -- Oakland, San Jose, My House. Anywhere.