When you sing, "It's that wonderful time of the year..." you're not referring to Christmas. Not unless you like sloppy wet kisses from Aunt Bertha and another pair of socks that don't match the shirt you didn't want last year. No, this is the magical time of the year when important-looking people descend on the same hotel to discuss how they can fill each others' holes and not in a dirty way.
Every off-season has a slightly different flow. This year's pace has been to see a fair amount of activity prior to the Winter Meetings, including several of interest to A's fans. JJ Hardy, Marco Scutaro, and Chone Figgins have all found new homes while the A's left-side of the infield still looks like Cliff Pennington and the rotting immobile corpses of Eric Chavez and his new likeness, Dallas McPherson. Or maybe 3B will be anchored by Jake Fox, and I mean "anchored" in that "can't actually move, weigh you down" kind of way.
Trying to predict what Billy Beane will actually do is like trying to guess whether Andy Pettitte is throwing to 1B or home. Since free agents apparently aren't enticed by Fatapples or money, if the A's want to improve their 2010 outlook Beane will probably be doing it via trade. Enter the Winter Meetings, where groundwork is laid for Xmas surprises to follow...
Dan Uggla? The A's seem fascinated right now by any player who shows some power and a profound lack of mobility. Uggla has not played 3B but his lack of range would play better there than it has(n't) at 2B. Following a low BABIP first half, Uggla rebounded to put together a solid second half in 2009 and his 31 HRs are drool-worthy for a team like Oakland.
Now that I've mentioned Uggla, it is officially guaranteed the A's will not trade for him. You see, being an A's fan is always about being surprised. Billy Beane is the master of the one trade you didn't even imagine, which is what makes December so exciting and scary all at the same time.
Jed Lowrie? Hardy unexpectedly flipped by the Twins? Erubiel Durazo? Rickey?
Nobody? OK, now I'm depressed.
Somebody!!!!!! But who?