Apparently, Billy Beane has listened to all of AN and Captain Obvious and decided, for the first time, that the A's must move on from Eric Chavez. Trouble is, it costs talent to acquire talent by trade, and with Haren, Swisher, Harden, Blanton, and Street already dealt, if the A's want to solve a still existing void it could come at a steep price. In this conversation, I will omit Adrian Cardenas because his future position is still unknown and he is also only 20 years old - so while he may solve 3B in a year, he may also solve 2B in 3 years. He fits somewhere - I'm not yet sure where or when - but he is one piece, somewhere, sometime, in the mix.
If the A's want to get an exciting young 3Bman, like Chase Headley or Ian Stewart, they will likely have to part with an essential piece like Trevor Cahill or Brett Anderson - one step forward, one step back. A "poor man's" version, like Jhonny Peralta, has the advantages of being attainable for less talent and fitting some crucial needs (right-handed hitter with some power), but has the disadvantages of being overpaid and not that great. Where would you look, right now, to address 3B between now and 2011-12?
The A's need a SS next year, but could have help on the way by 2011 in the form of Dusty Coleman, who is currently raking for the Kane County Cougars. JJ Hardy is the obvious fit, someone who could even play 3B the rest of this season, and then SS next season, before becoming a free agent. You wonder what the A's would have to dangle to bring Hardy aboard this year or next.
I'm going to argue that the current A's still have not one, not two, but three voids to fill before they are contenders. Ryan Sweeney's defensive deficiencies are being exposed more each week and his power is still only a figment of the A's imagination and dreams. Sweeney actually reminds me a lot of Terrence Long, who had an incredible week defensively in CF but was otherwise really not that great, and who had more offensive promise (i.e., "a nice swing") than actual ability - which is to say that there is a such thing as a two-run HR but there is no such thing as a two-run "he looks like a power hitter and should fill out someday." The A's also lack a leadoff hitter, which ideally your CFer can be. Do you agree that the A's need a CFer, or are you satisfied that they have one?
Anyway, if there's a conclusion I draw from all this, I guess it would be that the A's actually still have a lot of work to do to make the transition from "rebuilding" to "contender." Maybe for the first time, Billy Beane agrees? And if more rebuilding in the A's future like it or not, how would you go about completing the process and solving these positions?