What do we have to look forward to this winter and next year, as A's fans? A quick list of things from the top of my head:
The universal knowledge that Rich Harden is made of glass. Lots of us used to have expectations, or at least hopes, that Harden could stay healthy and have a full season of his always-dominant performance. Now nobody thinks this will ever happen. Any innings we get from Harden will be gravy. And they'll probably come, a la Kerry Wood, out of the bullpen.
Eric Chavez's descent into Mark Kotsay-dom. He's just had, or will soon be having, back surgery, apparently of a similar (or even the same) type as Kotsay had. Kotsay, of course, sucks. His bat sunk to levels that shouldn't have justified him being in the lineup. Look forward to more of this with Chavez, even if he is still a world-class defensive third baseman.
Rampant trade speculation about Joe "Cupcakes" Blanton. A lock for 200 innings of above-average starting, still young and cheap ... how much could he fetch on the "young offensive players" market? What about those ridiculous surpluses of offensive talent combined with little starting pitching in Arizona and Tampa Bay? Expect the names of Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to be bandied about often this winter.
Daric Barton's dominance of the American League despite playing in what's quietly become one of the worst places to hit in all of baseball.
A million spring training stories about how Dan Haren worked out all winter to ensure that he'd build up enough stamina to pitch at a Cy Young level all year, instead of for 2/3 of the season.
Andrew Brown and Jerry Blevins becoming one of those fantastic relief tandems that only the team's own fans have heard of.
Kurt Suzuki playing the 1998 AJ Hinch to Landon Powell's Ramon Hernandez. (That's not a great comparison, because Powell's older than I thought he was - he'll turn 26 before the start of next season! Suzuki just turned 24 three days ago, by contrast.)