The A's offered arbitration to Ricardo Rincon today, but declined making offers to their other free agents: Erubiel Durazo, Octavio Dotel, Scott Hatteberg, and Alberto Castillo. Nothing much surprising, there. Rincon still may end up going elsewhere, but the A's are keeping their options open.
That's OK with me, as long as they don't sign Rincon to a two-year deal. Let somebody else do that.
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The Barry Zito trade buzz is starting to die out. No one is saying why, but my guess is that the Mets wouldn't give up Aaron Heilman unless they got a flame-throwing setup guy from elsewhere. When the Royals refused to give up Mike MacDougal for Kris Benson, the Zito deal fizzled.
As a result, the David Wells-for-Justin Duchscherer deal is now dead, too. The A's won't need Wells to replace Zito in the rotation, so Wells is likely headed for the Padres.
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Too bad. I was starting to imagine what it would be like to have an athlete like Milledge in Oakland for six years. It's been so long, maybe since Rickey Henderson was in his prime, that I've pretty much forgotten what the awe and joy and amazement of watching a great athlete on my favorite team feels like. (Kinda like how you forget what pain feels like, unless you're in pain.)
I try to recall, but for some reason, my memory for that sort of emotion only seems to go back as far as Matt Stairs and John Jaha. Not quite the same thing.
Instead, it looks like I'll just have to make one last effort this season to appreciate the sight of Barry Zito buckling the knees of a hopelessly fooled batter on a picture-perfect curveball. Delicious. But alas, now that sensation will be tinged with a bittersweet flavor, knowing that Zito will only be on our side for this one last fling.