Use Rich to get Richer?

OK, here’s my question? Do the A’s trade Rich Harden? Dominant again today in a win over Philadelphia. Always a guy who leaves you wondering if the next pitch will be his last.

I’ve been pondering this question for, oh, about two years now and after much thought and research and many questions, I have the same answer now that I did then: I don’t know.

On the one hand, he’s the single biggest trade chip the A’s could put on the market. And if Billy Beane got such impressive talent for Dan Haren, and an emerging stud for Nick Swisher, imagine what he could pilfer for Harden.

On the other, the A’s continue to hang around the wild-card race, and the addition of another stud pitcher — C.C. Sabathia anyone? — could ensure their season-long presence in the race. And, should the A’s stun the masses and get into the playoffs, Harden can win a series by himself.

Peter Gammons breaks it down pretty well on his ESPN blog. What is Beane going to do? What would you do?