Week in Review: 1/4 – 1/10

Lots of signings this past week, as predicted by Doug Melvin… let’s recap all the action:

  • I’ll start off by offering condolences to the family of Carl Pohlad, owner of the Minnesota Twins. He passed away this week at 93 years old. R.I.P. Mr. Pohlad.
  • Perhaps the best signing of the week, the Rays inked Pat Burrell to a two-year, $16MM contract. For a guy coming off four straight .875 or higher OPS seasons, that’s a great deal, especially when you factor in that he won’t have to play in the field. The Rays biggest problem in 2008 came against LHP, which Burrell absolutely crushes. Great signing for Tampa.
  • From the best signing to the longest: The Angels signed manager Mike Scioscia to an extension through the 2018 season! Talk about the organization putting faith in you…
  • More bargains this week, as the A’s signed Jason Giambi to a one-year deal worth $4.5MM, with an option for 2010 at $5MM. Very affordable signing by Oakland; nice move.
  • The Cubs signed Milton Bradley to a three-year, $30MM contract this week. If Bradley can stay healthy, this move will likely work out just fine. However, given his injury history, it’s a bit uncertain how he’ll be able to handle playing in the outfield every day for the Cubs. Still, if he can come close to matching his ridiculous 2008 production (.999 OPS), he’ll be a very welcome addition to the middle of the Cubs’ order. The Cubs also completed their swap of Jason Marquis for Luis Vizcaino.
  • The Braves continued to improve their starting pitching when they signed Kenshin Kawakami to a three-year deal this week. The terms of the contract are still unknown, but given Kawakami’s success in Japan, he’ll be another big step up for the Braves’ pitching staff.
  • Kawakami wasn’t the only Japanese player to sign this week; the Orioles reached an agreement with Koji Uehara on a two-year, $10MM deal that could reach $16MM total with incentives. The Orioles are also on the verge of signing Gregg Zaun to a one-year contract.
  • Boston may have had the busiest week of all. They signed Rocco Baldelli and John Smoltz (yes, John Smoltz) to one-year deals, and did the same with Takashi Saito. It’s tough to imagine Smoltz outside of Atlanta, but he’ll be calling a different city his home for the first time in 2009. Baldelli will receive a base salary of $500K, while Smoltz’s base is $5MM and Saito’s is believed to be $1.5-$2.5MM. I like all of these signings by Boston.
  • Another icon finding a new home will be Trevor Hoffman; he signed a one-year deal worth $6MM with the Brewers this week.
  • The Mets added to the back-end of their rotation, agreeing to terms with Tim Redding on a one-year, $2.25MM deal for the 2009 season. Nice, affordable signing for the Mets.
  • The Indians also made an inexpensive signing, when they inked Carl Pavano to a one-year, $1.5MM contract. If Pavano can remain healthy and have any sort of rebound, the Indians have a bargain on their hands. Nice low-risk, high-reward type signing.
  • One pitcher not attempting to make a comeback will be John Patterson; he retired this week after struggling with health issues ever since his strong 2005 campaign.
  • The Reds signed Jerry Hairston Jr. to a one-year, $2MM contract with another $2MM in incentives.
  • A couple of Yankees notes: They would like to move one of their corner players, but prefer to keep Nick Swisher over Xavier Nady. Also, Andy Pettitte rejected their offer of one year at $10MM. I’m surprised, because at this point I can’t imagine him finding a better deal than that.
  • The Phillies found themselves with a sudden hole in the bullpen when J.C. Romero was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Romero claims he did nothing wrong. Sergio Mitre joined him the next day.

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