Here's an unsubstantiated rumor I can enjoy: Ken Rosnethal wonders aloud in this post if Billy Beane is tired of working in Oakland yet and where he would go if he leaves.
Beane, though, seems under no such illusions about the A's. In a conference call with reporters, he declined to even engage in the usual brave GM talk about how the new manager might kick-start the club.
It seems highly unlikely Beane would leave the A's since his contract runs through 2014 and he is a minority owner in the club.
On the flip side, things are looking shaky for the A's. The A's finished with 81 wins last season on the back of elite defenders and young pitching and looked to be poised to move up this season with some of offensive upgrades during free agency. Unfortunately, the defense of the A's has tanked and the free agent signings have not lived up to their hopes. The A's top prospects faltered in 2010 and some experts are questioning if Grant Green and Chris Carter are going to be the players they were originally projected to be.
The A's have a winning percentage of .534 under Beane with 5 playoff appearances. They had 3 straight losing seasons between 2007 through 2009 but have built a strong farm team during the last several years and are now led by one of the best young pitching staffs in baseball. All hype aside, Beane has shown the baseball world that he is an elite GM with an understanding about how to build a winning team while minimizing risks and selling off players at the right time. He'd be an excellent asset to any team and I'd love to see what he could do with a team who is willing to go out and spend to get an elite free agent to improve the team.