Two big bats found new teams this afternoon. Pat Burrell left World Champs Philadelphia for Runner-ups Tampa Bay for 2 years and 16 million. Milton Bradley found his 76th team in signing with the Chicago Cubs for 3-years 30 million. The Cubs move helps adding a switch hitter with power to play right field instead of the disappointing Fukodome. This does not solve their problems but they should maintain their status as NL Central favorites. I think they could use another starter and middle infielder.
While I like the Bradley signing, I love the Burrell signing. While the Yankees went out and spent a quarter billion dollars, the Rays only spent 16 million and in doing so became a better team than the Yankees. They assured to me the Yankees will still finish third and nothing makes me happier. They have a young powerful lineup and that with the young powerful pitching staff looks impressive. I still think they need to help the bullpen a little.
Here should be their opening day lineup
2B Akinori Iwamura (.274 6 hr, 48 rbi, 8 sb)
LF Carl Crawford (.273 8hr, 57 rbi, 25 sb)
CF B.J Upton (.273 9 hr, 67 rbi, 44 sb)
3B Evan Longoria (.272 27 hr, 85 rbi, 7 sb)
1B Carlos Pena (.247 31 hr, 102 rbi, 1 sb)
DH Pat Burrell (.250 33 hr, 86 rbi, 0 sb)
RF Matt Joyce (.252 12 hr, 33 rbi, 0 sb)
C Dioner Navarro (.295 7 hr, 54 rbi, 0 sb)
SS Jason Bartlett (.286 1 hr, 37 rbi, 20 sb)
The averages may not look good but Crawford and Upton are .300 hitters who struggled with injuries last year. Upton should also hit around 30 home runs evidenced by the 7 he hit in 16 postseason games and 24 the year before. Anytime you have a 30 hr guy in Burrell batting 6th you have a lineup that will do damage.
Also in a sad baseball related not Carl Pohlad, the owner of the Twins, died at age 93 today. He was the owner for the Twins only titles in '87 and '91.