What you’ve missed this offseason…

Well, these are some arbitrary bits of it anyway:

Pat Burrell signs with Devil Rays for $16M/2Y

The Devil Rays had a couple of the easier holes to fill this offseason: RF and DH.  Burrell should be able to be a great DH and almost competent RF.  The Devil Rays had a terrible DH situation last year.  I fully expect Burrell to continue to an effective hitter for the next 2 years.

Jason Giambi

Yeah, the A’s got him on a decent contract for 2009 with a 2010 club option, but he’s not really what they needed.  A lot of folks at Athletics Nation still say the A’s should have signed Rafael Furcal, but if I had to guess, I would say that two years from now, they’ll be glad the A’s didn’t sign him.  Anyway, I like the deal a lot more if Giambi is the DH and pushed Jack Cust out to LF (rather than Giambi playing 1B).  There are a lot of views that can be taken about Daric Barton’s 2008, but the bottom line is that they need to give him more time to prove/disprove himself.  Unrelated, but why won’t some team give Matt Murton a chance to start?  What has this guy done to deserve being ignored like this?

Devil Rays trade Edwin Jackson to Tigers for Matt Joyce

Joyce is a legitimate prospect and getting him for the spotty at best Jackson is a heist.  I would guess that Joyce could be become a decent regular in RF and Jackson will have an ERA over 5.  I don’t understand what scouts have seen in Edwin Jackson that makes them say that he has such high potential.  He has a “meh” strikeout rate (that’s a technical scouting term) and has the control of, well, someone who has very little control.  Like, say, a field mouse piloting a cheetah.  Let’s go with that.

Rockies trade Matt Holliday to A’s for Greg Smith, Huston Street, and Carlos Gonzalez

This has to be the most intriguing trade of the offseason.  Greg Smith has limited upside (he’s 25 already), but could still turn into something decent.  Huston Street is a very good reliever, but the A’s already have a lot of other great bullpen arms, including Santiago Casilla and Joey Devine*.  Carlos Gonzalez has tools, but given that the A’s already had a lot of toolsy OFs without much power, he’s not that huge of a loss.  But if anyone makes this deal look bad for the A’s, it will be Gonzalez.

*Could the Braves have handled Joey Devine any worse?  They rushed him to the majors at age 21 where he bombed.  They then juggled him through minor league levels until they sold him low to the A’s for Mark Kotsay(!).  And his ERA the first year with the A’s: 0.59(!!!).

The Yankees

I love this, I really do.  MLB would be a lot less fun without the Yankees making these huge F-U free agent splurges.  And what’s really ridiculous about this, is that the free agent compensation system makes this advantageous for them.  With each signing they are losing a draft pick, but the picks they’re losing are getting worse and worse (1st on Teixera, 2nd on Sabathia, etc…).  At these low prices, how could they afford not to sign AJ Burnett?  Also, I love the trade for Nick Swisher.  I think he’s a good bounce back candidate and they gave away almost nothing.

The Giants

I’m not the huge fan of the Edgar Renteria signing as some of the writers are, but it probably won’t be horrific.  I know Keith Law and Rob Neyer liked the Jeremy Affeldt signing, but I’m not that enthused with him.  Up until last year at age 29, Affeldt hadn’t done much since a solid year in 2003 as a starter.  Also, Giants fans better hope the team doesn’t put Jonathan Sanchez in the bullpen.

The Pirates

Neal Huntington has really done much this offseason, but, really, what is there for him to do?  He made his big moves at the deadline last season.  It appears that Huntington won’t be paying for replacement level guys and at above replacement level prices (*cough*Luis Rivas*).  This is in direct contrast to the next club…

The Royals

Oh, god.  They’ve acquired Mike Jacobs, Willie Bloomquist, and Coco Crisp to go with Jose Guillen, Miguel Olivo, and the rest.  It’s like they hate getting on base.

Arbitrary song of the day: Layo & Bushwacka! – Love Story


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