Chavez deal is Stewart's first big task

Updated: February 13, 2004, 9:40 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
Billy Beane's knack for producing winners in Oakland with a small-market payroll has been well-chronicled. He's also having no problems, as far as we can tell, coping with the anticipated industry backlash from "Moneyball."

Now he's on to an equally imposing challenge: A negotiating table staredown with Dave Stewart, no bats allowed.

Dave Stewart
Dave Stewart is entering a new phase in his post-playing career.
Stewart, who's had his fill of coaching and abandoned his quest to run a major-league front office, is shifting to Phase C of his post-playing career: He's become a certified agent and will play a role in determining whether Oakland's latest marquee free agent, Eric Chavez, stays with the organization or follows Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada out of town.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer