A quick post from Blez at Athletics Nation that appears unabashedly happy.
An entry from Faust at Athletics Nation that goes more in-depth than any other piece I've seen, mine included. He uses different numbers than I have (notably that the A's will receive $7 million in 2007, rather than $5, which changes things rather drastically), but he comes to the same basic conclusion: the A's got better on the field, but paid a price to do so. I miss the days when the A's methods were unknown and they could basically grab great, unheralded players for cheap, essentially getting better on the field without having to pay a price. Of course, those were also the days immediately following their 75-win days, so getting better was a much easier proposition.
Is lefty-righty-ness of a lineup really more important than getting your top OBP guy more at bats? If not, as I suspect, then Kendall should be leading off next year.
I really can't see Nick Swisher starting the year batting fifth.
I figure Justin Duchscherer for the fifth spot in the rotation to start the year, with Joe Blanton in Sacramento. When Blanton proves he's ready and Duchscherer proves he's not a long-term solution (the latter of which, by the way, I'm not convinced is going to happen), then we can figure out where to go. Duchscherer's place in the 'pen can be taken by some random lefty Rule 5 pick or a Kirk Saarloos type.
Finally, Elephants in Oakland adds this, mentioning the A's depth at catcher and talking about the replacements at the pitcher spots recently vacated by Redman and Rhodes, all in his rather inimitable style.