The baseball Hot Stove has been really heating up. Since we had 3 notable free agent signings in the last 24 hours, I thought I would cover all 3 in 1 post.
First, the poster boy for bad free agent contracts, Carl Pavano signed a 1 year $1.5MM contract with the Cleveland Indians. Pavano can also potentially earn $5.3MM in incentives. This is a low risk, high reward signing by the Indians and Pavano should be the Tribe’s #3 starter behind Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona.
To be honest, I was surprised to see Pavano sign with the Indians. I had him returning to the Marlins or maybe signing with the Cardinals or Padres. Does anyone else get the feeling Pavano will stay healthy and win 10-15 games this year? Remember, last time Pavano was pitching for a contract he went 18-8.
Second, Jason Giambi makes his return to the bay area as he signs a 1 year $4.5MM deal with the Oakland A’s with a$5.5MM club option in 2010. Talk about taking a pay cut. Last year Giambi made $23.4MM with the Yankees.
I really like this move for the A’s. Giambi will return to the A’s (I don’t think he ever wanted to leave) as their primary DH and a .240/30/90/.390 season is realistic. The A’s finished last in runs scored in 2008 and with the trade for Matt Holliday and the signing of Jason Giambi, the A’s are on there way to not repeating this dubious feat in 2009
Last but not least, the Chicago Cubs signed OF/DH Milton Bradley to a 3 year $30MM deal. While I liked the other 2 signings, I am baffled by this signing. Yes, I understand the Cubs needed a LH bat and yes, I understand the Cubs needed a RF but to commit 3 years to a guy who only played 19 games in RF last year and only has played over 140 games just once in his career (last year) is a head scratcher for me.
Wouldn’t the Cubs have been better off signing Bobby Abreu? Abreu has griven in over 100 runs 7 years in a row, has played over 150 games 12 years in a row and has a lifetime obp of .405. With corner OF salaries falling faster than GM’s stock, I am not sure why the Cubs would overpay for Bradley when for perhaps the same price they could have gotten a more consistant player in Abreu.