“It seems to me like Josh Willingham is the one guy on the team who would be the most difficult to replace,” argues former teen scalper turned agent Matt Sosnick. “Guys aren’t beating down doors to hit in Oakland,” Sosnick warns, but conversely, it could be an A’s move to San Jose that lessens the likelihood Oakland will try to retain the outfielder this winter, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser explains ;

“We gave the A’s an idea of where we were, and we were told they have interest in bringing Josh back, but before they did anything, they want to see what happens with the stadium,” Sosnick said. “Josh and I both made it clear he’d like to stay, but at this point, I’m pretty sure he’ll test the free-agent market.

“We talked about a time frame, given that Billy would like Josh back, but it seems like Billy is sort of hamstrung right now.”

According to one person familiar with the team’s thinking, the A’s would be likely to cut back on spending should they get the OK to go to San Jose, rather than increasing payroll. Were San Jose approved, the club would go into all-out rebuilding mode to put together a potential up-and-coming contender.

If the A’s do not get the all-clear for San Jose, they’d be more likely to spend money in the short term to try to increase the gate – and, possibly, to make the club more attractive for potential buyers.