With the holidays over, the DH types are starting to go off the board...
Milton Bradley, as everyone knows, is gone to the Cubs for $10 million per year for 3 years. Keith Law says:
Bradley is an excellent hitter who has power and patience and delivers lots of hard contact from both sides of the plate. He's also -- or at least was before his knee injury -- a very good defensive outfielder who's plus in a corner and at least average in center. He's at least a one-win upgrade over the players he's replacing (mostly Jim Edmonds), more if his defense hasn't slipped thanks to the knee injury he suffered at the end of 2007, but the risk entailed in giving such an injury-prone player a three-year, $30 million deal seems excessive.
* * *The Rangers will miss Bradley's bat, but they have plenty of power hitters who can play DH in their organization and could use the spot to get both Chris Davis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia regular playing time, with Max Ramirez also an option. They'll also receive a supplemental draft pick, which is quite valuable to an organization that drafts well and isn't afraid to ignore MLB's absurd slot recommendations.
You can read Al Yellon's thoughts on the signing over at Bleed Cubbie Blue here.
Jim Reeves says the Rangers couldn't risk a long-term deal with him because of his injury history, and will instead look to Nelson Cruz to replace Bradley as a middle-of-the-lineup bat.
Reeves also says forget about Andy Pettitte coming to Texas...the Rangers aren't going to pay him more (or even as much as) the $10 million he rejected from New York.
The Transaction Oracle likes the Pat Burrell signing for the D-Rays, and wonders why the Phillies were willing to pay Raul Ibanez $30 million over 3 years rather than give Burrell $16 million over two years.
I suspect that Burrell was wanting more than 3 years, $30 million at that point in the winter, and Phillies g.m. Ruben Amaro decided to jump on Ibanez at that price rather than wait for the market to shake out. As it turns out, Amaro appears to have paid top dollar, and made an already lefty-heavy lineup more lefthanded in the process.
But if Burrell were willing to take 2 years, $16 million in November, I suspect he'd still be a Phillie.
Jason Giambi is apparently on the verge of a deal with Oakland for $4 million in 2009, a $6.5 million team option in 2010, and a $1.25 million buyout. Pretty solid signing for Oakland, whose offense, with the addition of Giambi and Matt Holliday, looks to be upgraded over last season.
With the deals that are going down, Joe Sheehan says Manny Ramirez blew it by opting out of his deal rather than exercising the 1 year, $20 million option with the Dodgers. Sheehan says Manny is a damn good player, but not worth more than twice what Bradley, Burrell, and Giambi are getting.
Over at the Hardball Times, Sean Smith compares Jim Rice with Brian Downing and concludes that Downing was the better player.
J.C. Romero has been suspended 50 games, and is professing his innocence, although Will Carroll says Romero's story isn't as clean as it first appears. Sergio Mitre, a guy occasionally linked to the Rangers in rumors, also has been suspended 50 games.
Chad Cordero is throwing this week, with teams invited to come watch. The Rangers are supposedly interested in him.
Achy breaky pitcher Carl Pavano has signed a one year deal with the Cleveland Indians.
And on his blog, Mark Cuban offers his side of the story on his attempted purchase of the Cubs.