The A’s annual clearance sale is on.
Yes, now through the July 31 trading deadline, general manager Billy Beane the “Guillotine” will lop off almost any highly paid veteran. But remember this is the final week of the A’s “Slash for the Cash” promotion, so don’t miss special deals on free agents-to-be Huston Street and Mark Ellis.
No reasonable offers refused. Just ask the Chicago Cubs, who are likely to be laughing all the way to the playoffs thanks to their recent acquisition of Rich Harden from Oakland’s grooming ground for high-priced stars they rarely keep.
All Harden has done in his first two starts in the National League is give up one run in 12¹/³ innings with 20 strikeouts.
Giants GM Brian Sabean doesn’t wield quite as sharp a blade, but he too is trimming dollars and age from the roster.
So, see ’em while you can. This could be the final homestand for veterans Omar Vizquel, Rich Aurilia and/or Jack Taschner.
Unfortunately, none of these players will get you much in return. If the Giants really want to be bold they’d find new homes for 34-year-olds Bengie Molina and Randy Winn. They not only have real value on the open market, but both will also be well past their prime by the time the Giants’ promising crop of prospects come of age.
However, don’t look for that to happen because while the A’s take the total tear-down approach to rebuilding, saving their money to build a new ballpark, the Giants remodel slowly because they can’t afford to get so bad that nobody shows up at their beautiful waterfront home. Not with their huge debt service at AT&T Park. But, bottom line for both: It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
¤Cheeseheads must be curdling in their whey. After rejecting an offer to be a backup in Green Bay, Brett Favre reportedly used a Packers-issued cell phone to make repeated calls to Vikings head coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell lobbying for a trade to play in Minnesota. The Pack is shopping their once-legendary leader, but no way they will deal him to a division rival. Favre has every right to change his mind about retiring, but he has no right to expect the Packers to act as though he never left.
¤ Speaking of going, going, gone … How do you think Barry Bonds is celebrating his 44th birthday today?
Rich Walcoff is the sports director at KGO Radio (810 AM) and can be heard weekdays between 5-9 a.m. on the “KGO Morning News.” He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.