It's status quo this holiday season with the Red Sox signing Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million contract and the Yankees likely to go above and beyond to sign Cliff Lee. And the A's likely once again shopping in those bargain bins at the front of the Target stores. Someone get that Christmas Shoes kid on the line so this year isn't a complete disaster.
I'm frustrated simply because I truly feel like the team from Oakland is really close to being among the elite teams in the AL. And I don't think that Hideki Matsui is that player that will put the A's over the top. Yes he's a nice complementary piece if you have other players around him but he's not the thunder in the middle of a lineup you need. Despite his Godzilla nickname he's not the one who is going run over Tokyo for you anymore.
And let's face it, Adrian Beltre is going to wind up with the Angels. Despite all that superagent Scott Boras claims,Beltre was always using Oakland to jack up other offers from destinations he wanted to go to, places like Boston and now Anaheim (since the guy already owns a home down here). Angels owner and fine mustache connoisseurArte Moreno also isn't a big fan of missing out on something he prizes so expect him to come to Beltre personally with a big, fat check in hand and Boras will have once again been the mastermind of getting his player exactly what he wants.
The A's choices are now limited. You could go with Vlad Guerrero, which I personally really like even if I'm worried that his stats were better because of the hitter's haven in Arlington, but he seems to really want to go back to Texas. Or possibly even the Angels if they somehow miss out on Beltre.
It's an interesting dynamic going on in the AL West, with the four teams essentially playing trade a DH. Matsui, who was with the Angels last year, is rumored to be coming to the A's. Guerrero is also rumored to possibly be coming to the A's, Angels or Rangers. And our boy Jack Cust wound up signing with the Mariners earlier today. It's like the teams in the AL West have fallen so in love with each other's designated hitters that they can't look anywhere else. Not towards Manny Ramirez or Jim Thome or Adam Dunn (despite his claiming he wouldn't DH the White Soxconvinced him to do just that with bucketloads of cash).
I was pretty excited heading into this offseason and I suppose there is time to salvage things still but it once again looks like the A's will be left with the scraps of the free agent period. If you forgive the analogy, we're once again getting the Gobots for Christmas instead of that Transformer we put on our list because Mom and Dad weren't willing to get trampled by the mob to get it. At the same time, we can't blame Mom and Dad for valuing their safety or in this case, the A's for losing out on players going for $140 million plus.
And just like when we miss out on that favorite toy, we're going to love Mom and Dad any way. Even when we're stuck grudgingly playing with that lame Gobot for the rest of 2011.