Beane doesn't have to pinch pennies--but he might

December 2005
Sporting News;12/16/2005, Vol. 229 Issue 50, p51
The article comments on the signing of free-agent righthander Esteban Loaiza by baseball team Oakland Athletics for a three-year, $21.375 million contract. The decision puts general manager Billy Beane in a unique position of strength. Beane entered the winter meetings knowing he could keep lefthanded starter Barry Zito and open the season with one of the game's deepest rotations. Or he could exact a steep price for the staff leader, knowing none of the free-agent pitchers is as accomplished--or as big a bargain. Zito, 27, will make $8.5 million next season, then become a free agent. Even after signing Loaiza, Beane isn't under pressure to purge salary, unlike last offseason when he traded righthander Tim Hudson and lefthander Mark Mulder.


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