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      Have the A's thrown in the towell?
    I go away for a few days, and look what happens. Chaos in the major leagues, lots of stuff going down. The biggest of what is an apparent deal involving Tim Hudson.

    In a deal that hasn't yet been finalized, Hudson will be dealt to the Dodgers in return for Antonio Perez and Edwin Jackson. Perez is a good hitting second baseman who fills a organizational hole for the A's. He has a decent chance to play second in the bigs in the next few years, but the real name here is Jackson. Before last season, Jackson was considered one of, if not THE, top pitching prospect in baseball. He had a rough 2004, which included some bad pitching in the majors and an injury to his pitching arm, so his status has fallen somewhat.

    Getting Jackson is great, from the A's point of view, but they gave up Tim Hudson. I mean, they gave up Tim Hudson, one of the best few pitchers in the bigs, and their best. For a contending team, its a confusing move. It has been widely reported that the A's would not be able to re-sign Hudson after the season, but wouldn't it be better for a contending team to take the one year of Hudson at a bargain price of $6.5M and let him walk after the season?

    This move suggests that the A's are looking to the future a lot more than they should be. It also would appear to conflict with the acquisition of Jason Kendall, which increased their payroll in 2005. If, in order to keep their payroll at the $60M level, getting Kendall means losing Hudson, then why bother? And if you don't plan on competing in 2005, which trading your best pitcher would suggest, then going out and getting a catcher like Kendall makes no sense.

    It wouldn't suprise me to see the A's turn around and flip Jackson for some help on the offensive side of the ball. In that case, the trade would look to make a little more sense. The Reds have, in the past, made offers to LA for Jackson that included Austin Kearns or Adam Dunn. Keep an eye out for some deal of that sort, which would give the A's a middle of the order bat that they desperately need. In that case they'd be trading one cheap year of Hudson for a big time bat and a mid-level 2B prospect. Depending on the bat they get back, it could make this deal decent-to-good for the A's. After all, the A's have Rich Harden and Joe Blanton, who offset the loss of Hudson.

    We'll see about this deal when/if it gets finalized, but for right now it looks like the A's trade for Jason Kendall has forced them to lose their best pitcher.