I hope you weren't expecting these points to be related to each other. The only thing these points have in common is that they all show up in this post. Which also gives them something in common with Kobe beef, now.
Jon Morosi lists the as one of the teams scouting Brandon McCarthy in winter ball. This is Brandon McCarthy's career in a nutshell:
Pre-2005: Baseball America's 49th-best prospect in the league
Post-2006: Traded to for John Danks
Post-2010: Outrighted at 27, granted free agency
McCarthy's a budget starter who once showed a great degree of promise, and you can expect to see the M's linked to a number of these guys over the course of the offseason. And who knows, maybe McCarthy ends up coming over. If he does, he'll be interesting, but you can only expect so much from an extreme flyballer who averages 89 with his heat, and who has a history of injuries. Always remember that cheap players are cheap for a reason.
- Also via Morosi, the window to submit a bid for Tsuyoshi Nishioka closes tomorrow. Nishioka, if you haven't heard, is a Japanese 2B/SS who last year led the league in batting, and the M's were said to have some degree of interest in making a try. Were the M's to sign Nishioka, one would wonder what it meant for the future of Jack Wilson, but then you'd realize you were wondering about the future of Jack Wilson, and you'd stop wondering. Whether Nishioka is actually a good player or not is up in the air, but fortunately, if he wound up with Seattle, our standards are all low enough that he could get a hero's welcome with a 1-4.
- In a new twist, it appears that talks between the A's and Hisashi Iwakuma have broken off, and Iwakuma will return to his old team in Japan for the 2011 season before becoming a free agent next winter. Reading through agent Don Nomura's recent Twitter history is interesting, in that you at least get one side of what went wrong. In short, the problem was what the problem always is - the team didn't offer the kind of money the player and agent were looking for. I think my favorite part was Nomura's assertion that Oakland's $64m/5yr offer to Adrian Beltre was made for PR purposes. I think the situation may be a little testy.
I know Oakland spooked a good number of us by appearing so active so quickly. Perhaps there's less to worry about than we figured.