I'm almost done with an insanely long post that covers about just about everything on the planet except the Oakland A's. So to compensate for that, here's some juicy A's news: the Barry Zito-to-the-Mets rumor is back on the grill. (Hat tip).
We know Billy Beane has been working the phones because of the Freddie Bynum-out-of-options conundrum. Some roster move needs to be made pretty soon. But this idea sounds absolutely insane. Trading your opening day starter just days before his start? For a couple of minor leaguers? On a team that envisions itself as a World Series contender? I doubt it.
The only way I see Zito getting traded at this point is if he brings something in return that either (a) improves the A's for this season (a slugger), or (b) brings someone back who can provide a reasonable facsimile of Zito for the near term, and improves the A's in the long term. The speculated-upon Lastings Milledge-Brian Bannister package seems like neither.
A Zito trade would have made more sense before the Mets traded all their best prospects this winter. If you look at PECOTA projections, new Athletic Brad Halsey has more value than any remaining Mets prospect except Milledge. I find it hard to imagine Halsey headed to the Mets and getting good value in return, let alone Zito.
I'll be floored if anything happens in the next few days besides a Freddie Bynum trade. He had a great spring and made himself quite tradable. Thanks, Freddie. We'll be happy with whatever price you bring.
Update: Sources inform me the Zito rumor is false. Bynum is still being shopped, however.