What’s Billy Beane’s next move? He’s already traded his team’s best pitcher and one of his better hitters. Let’s start with a couple of additional moves brought up by Susan Slusser.
Trade Eric Chavez. Chavez expects to go, and he was refreshingly candid in his comments. His contract runs through 2010, and he’s willing to waive his no-trade rights. He’s had three surgeries this winter, so he has to prove his health before anyone acquires him. A big first half would go a long way.
Sign Barry Bonds. Such a move wouldn’t surprise Chavez. Slusser believes a bargain Bonds chasing 3,000 hits and extending his home run record could be a way to get fans in the park despite a noncompetitive 2008 team. For $8-10MM, I could see it.
Other possibilities outside of the two mentioned by Slusser:
Trade Mark Kotsay. He makes $8MM in ’08 and only managed 56 games last year. Maybe the Braves would take him on in exchange for a nonprospect, if the A’s kick in $3MM.
Trade Mark Ellis. He’s signed at $5MM for ’08, plays Gold Glove second base defense, and is an above average hitter for his position. Too bad for the White Sox he didn’t get thrown in as part of the Swisher trade. Outside of the Rockies I don’t see many fits for Ellis.
Trade Rich Harden. Since he has a reasonable $7MM option for 2009, Harden is similar to Chavez and Kotsay in that it makes sense to wait to see if he can build a little value before trading him.
Trade Joe Blanton. I’d be surprised if this doesn’t happen, with Beane adding three or four more of some team’s top ten prospects.
Trade Huston Street. Why not? He’s got three years of service time left, so he should draw a better bounty than Jose Valverde did. Perhaps Beane can focus on acquiring a good young middle infielder here.
Vets like Bobby Crosby, Alan Embree, and Justin Duchscherer probably shouldn’t get too comfortable either.