An official with the A's reportedly said that the team considers his departure to the Red Sox "a foregone conclusion" and that "We consider him to have moved on."
My reaction to this is twofold:
1) What Beane could do with a $100-million team salary and a minor-league organization that is financially well-supported may be breathtaking.
2) Much was made of the A's losing Jason Giambi's bat last year. Next year they will possibly have a new GM and manager. Art Howe is a serviceable manager but Beane has been an outstanding GM, getting the most for the A's with their limited resources. After the team was sagging early in the season having lost Giambi, Beane revamped the offense on May 22 and turned their season around (for the umpteenth time). It will be interesting to see how the A's as a team and an organization react to this. Will Barry Zito's initial reaction-"If we keep stripping down to the bare essentials, how far can we go?"-permeate the entire team? I would think that a scenario's like the Mariners', i.e. their success after losing "The Big Three" (Randy Johnson, Ken Griffer Jr., and Alex Rodriguez), would be somewhat more remote given a) the effect throughout the organization with the A's departures and b) the A's limited resources. But we will have to see. I am surprised that the A's are so cavalier about his imminent departure though.