I hate it when that happens, don't you?
The A's have a ton of money coming off the books after this season -- exactly a "truckload" -- with the few well-paid players, Eric Chavez ($12M) and Ben Sheets ($10M) under contract only through 2010. The only other players making appreciable salaries (Mark Ellis, Coco Crisp) have club options and may or may be back, meaning that the only players to whom the A's have committed even $3M to beyond this season are Kevin Kouzmanoff and Conor Jackson, each owed $3.1M in 2011.
The A's will have payroll flexibility up the wazoo and might even be required to spend it (if this year's rumors were true about Florida, and if the Ben Sheets signing was in part to avoid an inquiry about what's happening to that revenue sharing money that's supposed to go back into the team).
If the A's want to dip into the free agent market to complete the rebuild, first they will have to convince FAs that just because Furcal, Beltre, and Scutaro didn't want to come to Oakland, well...here's a lot of money, please join! But who?
The slugger the A's so desperately need in the OF doesn't really exist in the 2011 FA pool, where the best position player might be Carl Crawford. How much would you (over)pay to convince Cliff Lee to come here -- and how much would it take? Or should the A's spend too much money on a DH like Adam Dunn, knowing that Chris Carter is on the way? Or is it time for the A's to take on a big contract in a trade, from a team looking to dump said salary, and if so who is that player?
What do you think?