It doesn't include Manny Ramirez yet, but the market for outfielders is coming around.
Pat Burrell agreed Monday to a two-year, $16 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays and Milton Bradley to three years and $30 million with the Chicago Cubs, leaving Ramirez, Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn still out there, and Garret Anderson and Ken Griffey Jr. even farther out there. Jason Giambi reportedly is nearing a deal with the A's as well, probably for something close to the same annual value as Burrell.
Abreu is looking for a hefty $48 million over three years, a source said, which explains the tepid market for a guy who has driven in 100 or more runs six years in a row and scored 98 or more 10 years in a row.
The Rays hope Burrell will find happiness (and contact) as a DH. They'd also love to have Rocco Baldelli back, which would allow them to move Burrell in and out of the outfield as Baldelli's lingering illness dictates. He's not Manny, but Burrell does improve the Rays' offense, which was middle of the road in runs and slugging in the AL last season.
The Dodgers, Orioles, Nationals and Mariners seem to have the most interest in adding an outfielder, and the Giants are at least sniffing around on Ramirez, if not yet totally gonzo on the idea of introducing the Bay Area to another big-headed left fielder.
Of course, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and owner Frank McCourt still have Manny on their minds. Despite reports to the contrary, they are sitting on their original offer of two years and $45 million guaranteed. It is the only concrete offer Ramirez has. Agent Scott Boras continues to ask for four or five years and $25 million or so per.
• The Dodgers, who as of today have little to count on in their starting rotation, are hoping to add at least one of Randy Wolf, Jon Garland and Braden Looper. Andy Pettitte remains a longshot, even with Joe Torre doing the recruiting. They also need a reliever or two and have some interest in Trevor Hoffman. The Brewers are among the other teams seriously considering Hoffman.
• The agreement between the Dodgers and Andruw Jones says the Dodgers must release him by Jan. 15. That doesn't give them much time to trade him, assuming they had any shot at all.
• Kenshin Kawakami, a middle-of-the-rotation starter who pitched 11 seasons for the Chunichi Dragons, is drawing solid interest from the Braves, Cardinals, Red Sox, Twins and Orioles. Depending on how Pettitte plays out, the Yankees might also be in. Kawakami, 33, is an athletic right-hander with good command of four pitches.
• According to a source in D.C., the Nationals' last offer to Mark Teixeira was larger than the Yankees'.
• MLB officials are telling sponsors they expect gross revenue to increase by about five percent in 2009. The league grossed about $6.3 billion in 2008.