Posted By Jeff Fletcher on February 2, 2009 9:47 am
Buckle up, baseball fans, because I think we’re going to be in for a wild couple of weeks. It’s Feb. 2 and there are still dozens of free agents left on the market, including marquee names like Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Orlando Cabrera, Orlando Hudson and Ben Sheets.
Two weeks from now, all of these guys are going to be signed. They’re going to start coming off the market quickly. It’s a financial game of chicken right now, with the players and clubs seeing which side will panic first. The players are in a particular tough spot, because they are no doubt getting pressure from their agents and wives (not necessarily in that order) to do something. The clubs probably still have the upper hand in leverage.
What’s that mean to the Giants and A’s?
The Giants seem have Manny Ramirez as their primary target, but I still don’t see that happening. The Giants don’t want to give him more than two years, and the Dodgers have already offered that. Why would Manny go to the Giants for an offer near equivalent to what he got from the Dodgers, where he already knows he’s comfortable?
(As an aside, Manny is finding out that his little act last summer has backfired on him, as I predicted it might. If he was tanking with the Red Sox just to force a trade to allow him to be a free agent, now he’s seeing that very tanking is the reason no one wants to give him a three- or four-year deal. Those options he didn’t want the Red Sox to pick up were for $20 million a year in 2009 and 2010, by the way.)
Over to the A’s, I still think it’s possible that they end up with Cabrera out of all this. I know that they still have interest in him, but have been waiting to see if he’ll come down in price. He’s a little hung up on the two-year, $18-million deal the Giants gave his buddy Edgar Renteria. If Cabrera could be had for two years at $6-7 million a year, I’m guessing the A’s would grab him.
Stay tuned. It’ll be interesting.