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On the Milledge/Blanton rumor

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There has been some discussion of late about why Billy Beane would be willing to give up Joe Blanton to get Lastings Milledge, particularly given the loss of Barry Zito and the ongoing question about whether Rich Harden can stay healthy...

Nate Silver addresses the issue, albeit from the other side (explaining why it would be a terrible trade for the Mets)...

Blanton for Milledge is one of those deals that I really don't want to see happen...it makes the A's a lot better in the long-term, and even though it might seem like the Rangers would benefit in 2007, I'm not even sure if that's the case, since, with the addition of Milledge, Beane might simply opt to stick him in the outfield right now, a move that could make the team immediately better by putting Swisher back at first base and letting Dan Johnson split time with Mike Piazza at DH, and cushioning the blow of the inevitable Milton Bradley injury that will hit at some point in 2007...

Beane could seek to replace Blanton by dealing, say, Duchscherer or Calero along with a prospect to the Phillies for Jon Lieber. The net result of all those moves would be to make the A's at least as good in 2007, and much better going forward...