So Pat Burrell is a Ray, Milton Bradley is a Cub, and Giambi is about to be an A. Some thoughts:
* I defended Cashman to begin with and I think this depressed market completely validates Cashman’s decision to not offer arbitration to anyone. Bobby Abreu will be lucky to get $16 million over 2 years; if the Yanks offered him arbitration, they probably would be on the hook for more than that just for one. Draft picks are important, but not that important.
* I thought Bobby Abreu would be a good pickup for the Mets at the beginning of the offseason. I still think that is the case. Honestly, I’m not sure he’d be a good fit for anyone else at this point except maybe the Angels. He could be a bargain though at 1 year $8-9 million or 2 years and $14-16 million.
* Burrell seems like a good fit for the Rays. Clearly, as an offensive player the Rays are getting good value here. But it’s still a big risk for a team with payroll contraints like Tampa.
* In theory, Bradley is also a good sign, but I don’t know if Chicago and Lou Piniella is really a great fit for him. I could really see Bradley going Ron Artest-style and attacking fans in the stands at some point in his tenure. Milton needs a positive environment. Chicago is not one.
* How will the Oakland fans, who have booed Giambi with such passion over the years, react to his return?
* It seems the Manny market is pretty much officially just the Dodgers and Giants. When I heard the Giants were kicking the tires on Manny, I couldn’t believe how poorly run they are. But then I just got frustrated as I realized the NL West is so terrible a bad team like SF can throw some money around recklessly and be right back in things despite years of terrible decisions. And if you say that’s what the Yankees do, it’s not nearly like the Giants. The AL East is insanely competitive and for every Carl Pavano, the Yankees have signed a Johnny Damon or traded for an Abreu. Money isn’t everything (though it sure is nice).
* Raul Ibanez’s contract looks like a pretty big overpay by the Phillies now.